Community Development Officer – Mental Health Reform

Position Summary
While MHR has been effective in advocating at a national level for improved mental health services and supports, so far we have not had the capacity to support local activism. Yet with the increasing focus on regionalisation of health systems and HSE management, and the importance of Grassroots activism, this becomes increasingly important.
The Community Development Officer will play a key role in developing the capacity in Community Health Organisation Area 3 (CHO3) among concerned individuals and organisations in order to develop local grassroots collective advocacy around issues affecting people with mental health difficulties, in line with Mental Health Reform’s Strategic Plan 2018-2020. The CDO will support local communities and member organisations and co-ordinate a collective voice in the region, calling for improvements in mental health services and supports.
Available funding for the remainder of the project will expire in January, when the final project deliverables will need to be met and the performance of the project reviewed.

Main Responsibilities
Training/support/development of local groups
Build trust and working relationships with people directly affected by mental health difficulties, their families/friends/carers and organisations working with them
Facilitate or attend local meetings and fora to develop an understanding of priority issues for people with mental health difficulties and families/friends/carers
Develop and deliver collective advocacy training and capacity-building programmes at local level
Develop and run collaborative projects with and between local organisations to highlight issues affecting people with mental health difficulties
Develop and seize opportunities to foreground people’s experience of mental health services and supports in local media, political fora and/or similar public spaces
Work proactively and independently to organise events and opportunities for people to share their mental health experiences with decision makers, media and members of the public
Support individuals to share their stories and drive progressive reform of mental health services
Representing Mental Health Reform
Represent Mental Health Reform at local meetings, fora and to local politicians, HSE representatives and other area decision-makers
Organise a programme of social media communications to support local collective advocacy
Monitor local and regional media activity on mental health and Mental Health Reform
Work within the framework of the overall objectives and the policies and practices of Mental Health Reform
Contribute to the promotion of equality of opportunity, anti-discriminatory practice, diversity, individual rights and choice in all aspects of work
Participate in Mental Health Reform’s performance management system and engage in supervision sessions on a regular basis with the Senior Communications and Advocacy Officer
Undertake such other duties as might be reasonably assigned from time to time in consultation with the Senior Communications and Advocacy Officer
Update MHR’s contacts database, collect data and complete monitoring and evaluation reports as required
Carry out other administrative duties as required
Supervise interns or volunteers as required
Be vigilant to any Health, Safety and Welfare risks in the workplace and bring any concerns to the attention of the Director or Health & Safety Representative
Mental Health Reform reserves the right to amend this job description to meet organisational needs.

Person specification
Essential qualifications, capabilities and experience:
Third level qualification in Community Development/Work, Youth Work, Social Sciences, Education or a related field
Knowledge of the Irish mental health system and mental health issues
Experience of training and facilitating groups and individuals
Ability to gather and summarise qualitative and quantitative information
Project management experience
Excellent communication skills
Fluent speaker and writer of English
Ability to work on own initiative to achieve set goal
Ability to interact with people involved at all levels of the mental health system in a professional manner
Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint

Commitment to the vision, mission and values of Mental Health Reform
A can-do attitude with a focus on continuous improvement within area of work
Ability to work independently and with initiative
Excels within a busy work environment
Experience of lobbying or campaigning
Local knowledge of mental health issues and organisations in CHO 3

Other requirement:
Full clean driving licence and access to a car.
This is a fixed term contract position subject to funding and completion of a probationary period.
Flexibility is required regarding hours as some weekend and evening work will be necessary.
Travel and out of office work will also be a feature of the role.
Salary: salary will be commensurate with experience.
Hours of Work: 37 hours per week
Annual Leave: 24 days

Please email your CV and cover letter to In your letter please state current remuneration (salary and benefits) and when you would be able to begin the role.
Closing date for the submission of applications is Friday, September 25th at 5pm.

Please Note:
This document is not intended to be an exhaustive job description – it serves only as an overview of the role
Mental Health Reform is an equal opportunities employer

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