Mental Health and Towards Personal Occupation

Mental Health concerns everybody. Mental ill-health ranges from the worries that we all experience as part of everyday life to serious long-term conditions.

The majority of people who experience mental ill health can and do recover, especially if they have support and care from families and friends. Mental health can change as you move through different life stages or in response to difficulties in your life. Although an estimated one in four individuals is likely to experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives, it remains a widespread taboo subject. Communities with high levels of awareness on mental health issues are essential to bring about change and are recognised as a key support involved in helping and supporting people suffering from mental-ill health. IRD Duhallow’s Equality working group recognises that empowerment lies through the provision of information, training and occupancy in an accessible manner.

IRD Duhallow’s Equality Working Group holds many information seminars for people with disabilities and mental ill health along with disability awareness workshops.

Towards Personal Occupation Programme

Free, confidential community based service supporting you to take the next steps

In response to a recognised need to support those with mental ill-health back into employment, the aim of the Towards Personal Occupation Programme is to facilitate and encourage those in the community who are very distant from the labour market, providing them with education and training opportunities and increasing their chances of progression opportunities. The free and confidential person centred programme adopts an activation approach and is focused on the re-integration of participants into education, training and employment as well as voluntary work or other directions. It also promotes self-development. The TO Programme helps participants to identify their personal occupations requirements/ goals and the pathways to achieving them and assists participants to access as independent a life as possible.

The key Objectives of the Towards Occupation Programme are:

  • To provide a combination of flexible one-to-one support, guidance and training to people who are experiencing mental ill health.
  • Facilitate participants to identify their own personal occupation requirements and the pathways to achieving them.
  • Identify suitable progression routes.

IRD Duhallow’s Towards Occupation Programme is a modular and flexible part time programme including training opportunities in:

  • Life Skills/ Personal Development;
  • Skills Development e.g. Computers, Crafts, Horticulture, Upholstery, Cookery, Furniture REVAMP etc;
  • Confidential Career Guidance and Support e.g. CV writing and progression planning;
  • One to one person centred progression planning.

Training takes place 3 days per week on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The training is tailored to suit the interests and needs of the individuals in the group and new courses are always coming on stream!

In order to take part in the Towards Occupation Programme all participants on the programme must be in receipt of a social welfare payment. To express interest in the Towards Occupation Programme or for further information please contact Tríona on 029-60633 or e-mail

IRD Duhallow Ability Programme

IRD Duhallow is now recruiting participants for year 3 of the Ability Pogramme which will begin in September 2020. The Ability Programme aims to support young people with disabilities (15-29 years of age) to improve their employment prospects and social skills. If you are a Young Person who would like to be in a paying job, IRD Duhallow’s Ability Programme can help you to achieve your goals. The Ability Programme will help young people with disabilities to find education, training and employment. Young People will also be encouraged and supported to participate in community life. Examples of support available through Ability include: one to one person centred planning, support to develop life skills such as money management, Laundry and cookery, work preparation training, social and personal development, Dramatherapy, art & craft therapy, assistance in gaining work experience and voluntary placements, work shadowing. For the purpose of the Ability programme, people with disabilities refers to people with physical or sensory disabilities, mental health conditions, acquired disabilities, intellectual disabilities, hidden disabilities and people on the autistic spectrum.

Training takes place 2 days per week on a Tuesday and Thursday.

In order to qualify for support, Ability participants must also be:

  • in receipt of disability allowance or invalidity pension; or
  • in receipt of illness benefit for more than three months; or
  • other referrals may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

Referrals from GPs and mainstream schools are not eligible. Participation is Free and it does not impact on any of your social welfare payments.

For further information or to register please contact Triona or Jacinta on 029-60633 or e-mail

“Ability is co-financed by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.”