Event: Challenging current responses to young people in distress


Critical Voices Network Ireland (CVNI), in partnership with ChangeWithEmma, Mad In
Ireland, and with the Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century (ISS21), University
College Cork (UCC), Ireland, is pleased to announce a seminar (both in person and online),
which aims to provide a critical discussion on different ways of responding and supporting
young people experiencing distress, beyond the current services available. We propose a
move beyond the resource recommendations of the recent report of the Child and
Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Although resources are needed, a critical
rethink of current thinking and practices is also needed. In other words, we need to keep
asking the question ‘resources to do what?’ We hope that the seminar will kickstart a new
and critical national narrative to address the concerns of many young people seeking
support in times of distress.

Emma O’Sullivan, one of the presenters at the seminar, and mental health campaigner, says: ‘When we are born the first thing our parents hear is a cry, a scream to be heard and held. As we grow, we are conditioned to lose our need to scream and cry. We become complacent. This seminar aims to support people regaining that inherent and powerful voice they are born with. I lost my voice through my experiences of being no more than a number in the public mental health system. I spent more than ten years of my life in a vessel of hurt. I fought to find my voice again and I want to use it to help others find theirs. You may have seen and read the damning reports on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). How many more young people are going to be damaged by statutory mental health services? How many reports are we going to read and do nothing about?’

This seminar aims to highlight the hurt and damage that current mental health systems can cause young people. We would like young people to become aware of the power of their voice and the possibility of alternative ways to get help, so that young people can thrive instead of feeling hopeless, trapped in the cycle of the current system.

This is a free event. Register here.