The HSE Community Healthcare West office of Mental Health Engagement and Recovery in collaboration with Galway Local Forum are delighted to announce the imminent opening of a new out-of-hours mental health support for Galway City and surrounding areas.

The project was developed by members of the Galway community who have lived experience of mental health challenges and understand the need for out-of-hours support for people experiencing emotional distress. As noted by Danni Burke, an active member of the Galway Forum “I am excited to see the cafe we have been working on for a long time coming to fruition. There were others before me that were involved in getting the project to this stage. I would have benefited greatly from a cafe like this when I was unwell. A safe, relaxed environment with understanding and compassionate people can do wonders for positive mental health outcomes.”

The Galway Community Café will be located at Mr Waffle and will be open from 6.30pm to 11.00 pm Thursday to Sunday evenings. The Community Cafe will be a safe place for individuals to come and chat over a cup of tea with Community Cafe staff who have personal experience of mental health challenges.

The café group hope that this pilot project will show the approach of service users, health services, and the community co-producing services, and lead the way for the development of peer-led out-of-hours services across the country.

The project team and forum members are grateful to funders and community supporters, stating “We sincerely thank Atlantic Philanthropies for funding the pilot, and Mr. Kevin Nugent for donating the use of his café after normal working hours. Without their support this service would not have been possible. We would also like to thank HSE staff past and present as well as community members who have worked tirelessly to make this project a reality.”

For members of the community interested in getting involved in mental health service development and initiatives like the Galway Community Café, please contact Maria McGoldrick, Area Lead for Mental Health Engagement & Recovery at maria.mcgoldrick@hse.ie.