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'Flights of Hope' archive.

Personal stories of Hope and Inspiration about mental wellness.

Click HERE to explore




'Take5' interactive resource

Explore your way... on your device!

Click HERE to explore


About the

For answers to frequently asked questions Click Here

The Mental Health Forum serves the Southern Health & Social Care Trust area and has its office base in Newry. We are proud to be a peer-led organisation and to have lived-experience driving all aspects of our work.


We are deeply committed to building community resilience, and so provide information, signposting, advice, and opportunities to the public, around mental health services, personal wellness, or supports throughout the Trust area.


We are leaders in:

•Delivering Peer-led services, training, and supports

•Developing opportunities for people with lived experience

•Promoting awareness of mental health issues

•Challenging stigma and discrimination

•Championing recovery-orientated practice and initiatives

•Working in coproduction to improve mental health services

•Offering mentored capacity- building for coproduction activity and personal growth

•Embedding the voice of lived experience in suicide awareness initiatives working to prevent deaths by suicide


Our charity was established in 1993 as a pathway for sharing between the service user and carer community and their service providers.

Continuing as that official voice of the service user community, the Forum remains embedded within the MH Division of Southern Trust to this day. This model is regionally unique.


We engage directly with service providers in planning, delivering, and monitoring mental health services both locally and regionally, and we offer a peer-led programme of mentoring and support for service users and carers who wish to engage with us in those opportunities.


The voice of Lived Experience

The Mental Health Forum is the service user and carer voice in seeking to improve mental health services and in supporting individuals to improve their quality of life.

Read our Annual Public Report


Click on the Download link to get your copy of our latest Annual Public Report.



Inside you can get a flavour of all the different services we provide, and the work we do in direct partnership and coproduction with Southern Trust and Community Partners.


Service User and Carer Members of our Capacity Building Programme helped to create this report, and are actively involved in multiple areas of our service delivery.


For enquiries or to self-refer into any of our Peer-Led services, contact Elaine:

Tel:07876261033 (business hours)

MHF Annual Public Report 2023.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [7.3 MB]


Providing our members and the wider community with regular updates, opportunities, and resources about mental health and wellbeing related topics.


Our email newsletter is curated and produced by our members and is open to anyone who registers.



Scan the image to the left



Enter this url into your web browser to sign up.

MHF DropIn info Clinics...

Our servcie user  and carer members host a monthly information clinic in Lurgan.


Open to:

General Public (18+)

MH service users or carers

Trust Staff inc. Keyworkers


You are welcome to call in during the days and times advertised, to learn more about the Mental Health Forum and what we do.


You can chat about the Forum and how we may be able tosupport you through one of our own services, or perhaps connect you with wellbeing information for self care, or ways to connect with other communty organisations.


Get in touch, to learn more, or to receive the most recent calendar of dates


Mental Health Forum responsed during the covid pandemic to rising need for conversations and support addressing things like isolation, wellbeing drift, anxiety and resilience building.


We understood that those best placed to provide this service were people who had themsleves lived with similar challenges, and who had explored effective strategies and tools to cope and build resilience. 


We are proud to offer peer support by appointment face to face or via zoom call, in a way that can be tailored to individual need.


For enquiries or to self-refer


Tel:  07876261033

(business hours)

Capacity Building Programme...

18yrs or older?

Live in SHSCT area, and have

home computer/email access?

Experience accesing services for help with a mental health condition or challenge, or supporting someone who has used services of this type.


This Peer-Mentored Personal Development Programme builds confidence, wellbeing tools, interpersonal & communication skills, practical life skills, as well as offering 1:1 support to explore and express your personal recovery journey.  It also provides skills and opportunities to add your lived-experience voice to  coproduction or consultation with SHSCT Mental Health Division.                                                                    Weekly Zoom group sessions & regular face to face 1:1 mentoring





Get in touch, and we will help you match your work/life/wellness balance to engagement through our programme.


Launched as a pilot service in 2022, and helping to servie those whose need falls between that of counselling and peer-support, Discovery5 is a Professional service led and delivered by staff with lived experience.


Following assessment, clients are offered 4-6 sessions in which to explore the needs they themselves identify.


Coaching is a future-focused and collaborative process that helps identify strengths and skills and solutions already present in the client, so they can design their own goals and move with greater confidence towards them. Our service also encourages the client to recognise and embed MH & wellbeing tools along the way.


For enquiries or to self-refer


Tel:  07876261033 (business hours)

Peer-delivered workshops...

Our Peer Team provides confidence and skills around suicide conversations, and other topics related to mental health and wellbeing.


We can faciliate discussions or focus groups on issues related to mental health & wellbeing.


We can also provide BESPOKE Lived Experience talks or workshops for your team, group, or organisation


Common themes include:

  • Suicide Awareness/Prevention
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Awareness and/or tools
  • Insights on life living with a mental health challenge
  • Benefits of Lived Expereince Involvement and Good Coproduction Practice
  • Practical skills for Coproduction
  • Essential skills and Etiquette for meetings and group working
  • 'Take5' Awareness sessions


This is our NEW workshop


Expressions is run by the Lived-Experience Team from our 'Flights of Hope' project.


Click here to learn more about that project and to explore the archive of public stories, inspiration, and wellbeing tips that have been submitted already.


You can contribute your own without attending this course.

Email Elaine to discuss how.


Coordination and Facilitation of coproduction within SHSCT Mental Health Divison...

Elsewhere on our website, we expand on the range of ways our independent voice represents and facilitates Carer and Service User input into design and improvement of MH services.


We work closely with front-line staff, project teams, and senior managers as part of a collective leadership model unique to Southern Health & Social Care Trust.

The expertise of our team and the service users and carers we work alongside and represent, can also feed into cross-directorate or regional workstream activity.


If you are a new member of Trust staff or a sudent in the MH division, or have recently transitioned into a Management role, we can meet with you to discuss the unique interfaces mentioned above if you would find that helpful.

* May be subject to change for operational or infection control reasons

How is our work supported ?

Our service provision is supported by the investment of partners such as: 

   The Southern Health & Social Care Trust

   The Dept of Health Community Fund

   The PHA via The Southern Protect Life Implementation Group


Since 1993 we have served not only the Newry and South Armagh area where our office base is located, but also those from across the whole Southern Health Trust area.

A substantial part of the work we do is supported only by the kind donations, fundraising, and volunteer hours of people from those local communities.


Contact Elaine HERE or by telephone on 07876261033 if you would like to:     Make a personal donation in cash or kind

   Complete a chosen sponsored task on our behalf

   Organise a fund-raising event 

   Choose us as your business' charity this year

   Volunteer with us

   Become a member and get directly involved in coproduction & awareness

What our Members and Clients have to say about The Mental Health Forum

“I find the Forum very valuable from the point of view of keeping up with initiatives in the trust and mental health generally and also being able to contribute to discussions about how to resolve issues with service provision."

There's always something interesting and helpful in this newsletter. Thank you. Something for everyone!"

“Thank you so much for your time on the phone today even just that wee refferal chat helped me immensely thank you so much"

"I've learned so much, and I feel so much stronger and confident since working with the Forum"

"Your Peer Support appointments were a god-send. Noone else was able to be as flexible and understanding. I can't stress enough how helpful it was to talk with someone who just got it and didn't need me to try and explain what is so hard to explain. That couple of weeks of connection calls got me through a really tough time"

"I joined for the peer support but soon realized there was so much more. Forum activities have helped boost my confidence and it feels great to be doing something worthwhile."

"I've really enjoyed the experience of being in the Capacity Building Programme"

"I've wanted counselling for some time but have been unable to afford it. I happened to be in a local pharmacy and came across a Mental Health Forum leaflet and so I immediately made contact."

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