All posts by actionmentalhealth

Jonathan Bell Opens AMH Central

At our bakery class, a bit of an accident with an icing flower – squashed flower!

Local MLA and Junior Minister Jonathan Bell officially opened the new AMH Central Offices adjacent to the AMH New Horizons service in Newtownards. The Central Offices will house the support functions of the organisation – HR, Communications, Finance, IT and the Chief Executive’s office.


The AMH Central team
Jonathan gets a quick lesson in IT

Jonathan was given a tour of the offices and visited the New Horizons service where he got to have a go at archery, baking and IT.

Jonathan Bell gets a bullseye – beginner’s luck!

More photos of the visit can be found on our facebook page

Protecting Life

Discussing the Protect Life Service are Colin Loughran, Service Manager at AMH MensSana; Nuala Quinn, Protect Life Coordinator at the SHSCT; Seamus McCabe, Protect Life Community Development Worker for the Southern Area; and Deirdre McNamee, Health & Social Well-Being Improvement Senior Officer at the PHA.

AMH MensSana and PIPS Newry & Mourne provide the Protect Life Service, helping individuals and community groups with suicide and self-harm prevention in Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Dungannon and South Tyrone, and Newry and Mourne.

Colin Loughran, Service Manager of AMH MensSana, explains:

“Both organisations are keen to work in partnership with individuals and community groups and look forward to delivering and developing helpful supports appropriate to their needs. Staff are happy to talk to individuals and community groups about the training they may require and ensuring that appropriate support is provided.”

The Protect Life Resource Service will also have a signposting service, providing individuals and community groups with a valuable point of contact and sources of support regarding suicide and self harm prevention and mental health. The Service is funded by the Public Health Agency.

Mr Loughran is also Chair of the Southern Area Protect Life/Mental Health Promotion Community and Voluntary Forum, says that suicide presents a complex and deeply concerning challenge for our society and is a challenge that everyone must respond to comprehensively and collectively.

 “It is recognised that no single government department can work in isolation to tackle suicide. The Protect Life Group has developed a Community Response Plan that aims to support communities who have become vulnerable to suicide. Community Response has drawn people from Health and Social Care, Education, PSNI, District Councils and Community and Voluntary organisations who are committed to working together in the event of such a response being needed. In August this year, 100 people from a range of backgrounds attended a series of workshops across the Southern area highlighting the Community Response Plan.”

Nuala Quinn, Protect Life Coordinator at the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, adds:

“The Protect Life Group recognises that mental health is central to all health and wellbeing and, like our physical health, is a resource we need to promote and protect. Everyone has mental health needs whether or not they have a diagnosis of a mental health problem. Poor mental health can impact on our capacity to manage, to communicate and form and sustain relationships. It can also affect our capacity to deal with change and with major life transitions. The theme of this year’s World Mental health Day on 10 October is ‘Depression: A Global Crisis’ and in the Southern Trust we have a number of projects in place to help adults and young people with depression and other mental illnesses.”

For further information on the Protect Life Resource Service in Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Dungannon and Newry and Mourne, contact AMH MensSana on 028 3839 2314 or PIPS Newry and Mourne on 028 3026 6195.

The provision of mental health services through a stepped care model, with most services being provided in the community by voluntary and community sector partners and community mental health teams is a key theme of the Transforming Your Care report.

In addition to the services provided by AMH MensSana and PIPS Newry & Mourne, Northern Ireland’s confidential 24 hour crisis helpline is Lifeline and it is for people of all ages, and their families, to use when experiencing distress or despair. Lifeline’s expert counsellors offer immediate support, providing free, local follow-up services within seven days. The Lifeline number is 0808 808 8000 and more information is available at

WMHD in Fermanagh


Last Year’s WMHD Health Fair in Fermanagh

AMH New Horizons Fermanagh have a whole week of events planned to celebrate World Mental Health Day.  On Monday 8th October they will be kicking off with a Health Fair, follwed by a Carer’s Event on Tuesday, Workshops for Young Adults on Wednesday, a Volunteer Celebration on Thursday and rounding off with a CSE celebration event for clients and staff on Friday – Phew!

Contact our Fermanagh unit for more information T02866323630. Check out and like the facebook page World Mental Health Day NI to see what else is going on.

“Don’t Lose Your Marbles”

Don’t Lose Your Marbles World Mental Health Day 2011


” Don’t Lose Your Marbles” is coming to The Great Hall in Parliament Buildings to mark World Mental Health Day. 

World Mental Health Day is observed annually in more than 100 countries on October 10 to raise public awareness about mental health issues

This year AMH will be organising a range of events all over Northern Ireland during the week of World Mental Health Day.

AMH will be bringing “The Great Push for Mental Health – Don’t Lose Your Marbles” event to The Great Hall in Stormont on 9th October, 1pm – 1.45pm. 

Last year “Don’t Lose Your Marbles” was held in Foyleside Shopping Centre. Various local sport teams, students and the general public took part in the obstacle race.

“Don’t Lose Your Marbles” is a fun event in which participants try to steer a number of marbles around an obstacle course using a broom.  The object is to try and hold on to all their marbles!

Each cone represents one of life’s obstacles such as debt, bereavement, or illness – events which can have a detrimental effect on our mental health.  The event is a fun way of celebrating World Mental Health Day and raising awareness of mental health. By being aware of our own mental health, we can build resilience to; and learn to cope better, with what life may throw at us. 

The event will be opened by the Speaker of the NI Assembly Willie Hay MLA and the compare will be Sue Ramsey MLA, Chair of the Health Committee.

A Great Day of Golf

The Team from Locktons

The Ryder Cup may have just kicked off but AMH have had their own Golf Competition in the beautiful setting of Warrenpoint Golf Club.  Organised by the staff and clients of AMH Newry & Mourne with the help of Newry Employer’s Forum and sponsored by McKeown’s Solicitors, nearly thirty four-balls took part and there were plenty of prizes up for grabs – including a Mercedes for a hole in one!  The weather was on our side – with not a drop of rain, but the wind on the 6th proved to be too tough for the those competing for the Mercedes – better luck next time!

Greg Smyth, McKeown’s Solicitors (Main Sponsers); John Hazard, Agnew Mercedes; Bronagh McVeigh AMH and Alex Stinson AMH

Golfers were treated to a BBQ at the 9th and dinner and entertainment at the 19th!

Thanks to all those who took part, to all those who sponsored a tee box, donated prizes, gave up their time to organise and help out, to Agnew Mercedes Portadown and our sponsors McKeown’s Solicitors.

All money raised will be used to continue the work AMH New Horizons do to enhance the quality of life and employability of local people with mental health needs.



The Prize Winners:

  • 1st place: Confederation of Communities Groups; Raymond Jackson, Larry Mc Alinden, Peader Gallagher and Italo Catuila  – Prize: 4 Ball Lough Erne.
  • 2nd Place : Bellini’s; Tommy Rafferty, Anton Tighe, Derek Rocks and Gerard Mc Guigan – Prize: 4 Ball Seapoint Golf Club
  • 3rd Place : Glen Electric; Paddy O Gorman, Raymond Mc Parland, Kieran Mc Parland and Martin Bagnal – Prize: 4 Ball Barmoral Golf Club.
  • 1st Place Ladies Team : Beatrice Lawless, Kate Murphy, Pat Murray, Rita McQuaid –  Prize: 4 Ball Slieve Russell
  • Nearest the Pin Ladies : Beatrice Lawless – Prize: Wedge Golf Club
  • Nearest the Pin Gents : Paddy O Gorman – Prize: Wedge Golf Club
  • Longest Drive: Mark Brown – Prize: 12 Taylor Made Golf Balls & Towel
  • Straightest Drive Ladies:  Beatrice Lawless – Prize: 3 Bottles Wine
  • Straightest Drive Gents: Colin Loughran – Framed Picture

More Photos can be found on our facebook page – link on the homepage


AMH Opens in Belfast City Centre

David Babington CEO welcomes the Health Minister

Action Mental Health has been working with individuals with mental health needs for 50 years, and providing them with the support needed in their recovery.  Health Minister, Edwin Poots has officially opened the AMH New Horizons service in Belfast City Centre’s Fisherwick Building.

Action Mental Health Chief executive David Babington said, “AMH New Horizons helps people to overcome the effects of mental ill health and in many cases return to work.  We offer a range of recognised qualifications and provide training, personal development programmes and social and recreational activities. The Belfast service’s re-location from Duncrue Industrial Estate to the city centre, enables us to attract clients from all over Belfast, it also gives us the opportunity to promote AMH in a prime city centre location and already we have seen an increase in enquires.  The new location has helped us to source more appropriate training placements and employment opportunities for our clients”.

The AMH Staff Team in Belfast

Joanne Stroud, Service Manager, continued, “We currently have 100 clients registered and they are really enjoying being part of the Belfast “buzz”. In addition to all the courses, qualifications and placements on offer, our new location is also addressing the issue of social inclusion and independence; Clients are encouraged to visit the local cafes, shops and libraries and use the various modes of public transport nearby.”

The Minister met with staff and clients and was given a tour of the newly refurbished training facilities.

Speaking at the official opening, the Minister said: “This new facility with the latest equipment is a credit to AMH and its enthusiasm to make life better for those with mental health problems.

The Minister chats to some of the IT students

“Training for any individual seeking work is crucial and it is no less essential for people who have had mental health problems.


“The wide range of NVQ’s available in retail, business and administration, catering and customer services, along with other IT qualifications give clients the choice that best meets each of their requirements and interests, and this in turn will hopefully lead them to improved future employment prospects and build better futures for themselves and their families.”

 Highlighting the role of volunteers, the Minister concluded: “I commend AMH for their appreciation of the valuable contribution volunteers make to the work of their organisation, which last year totalled almost 5,000 hours.”


Premier Inn at AMH

Paul O Hagan Pathways, Christine Irwin Pathways, Cathy Hopkins Premier Inn, Mickie Harkin AMH & Edyth Dunlop NIUSE

A recruitment drive for Derry’s newest hotel is underway.  Premier Inn is creating 60 jobs at its hotel and restaurant at Crescent Link.  The hotel and Brewers Fayre family pub restaurant is expected to open in December.

AMH New Horizons Foyle recently hosted a Premier Inn Information Session for the disability sector. Approximately 60 people attended the session which last 1.5 hours. It was facilitated by Edyth Dunlop NIUSE with guest speaker Cathy Hopkins, Cluster General Manager for Premier Inn, who gave a presentation on the background to Premier Inn, the types of jobs available and qualities they are looking for in their staff for the new hotel/restaurant.

The information session was aimed at potential applicants to hear at first hand what career opportunities are available at Premier Inn and to ask any questions.

Cathy explained that Premier Inn was committed to getting the right person for the job and encouraged all who attended to consider applying to become a member of the team :

Premier Inn have made the following adjustments to ensure that applicants with disabilities are given the best opportunities at the interview stage i.e

  • Allocation of additional time for interviews if required
  • A Support worker can attend interviews if the applicant wants them too
  • Interviewers will be briefed beforehand on asking question using plain language

for more information on Premier Inn , or for jobs available in the new hotel