Bealach Nua employs four family peer supporters
Bealach Nua is a Family Peer Support Service available to anyone who has a family member attending the Adult Mental Health Services.
It offers families of people with mental health difficulties an opportunity to meet with a family peer supporter who has lived experience of caring for a loved one with mental health difficulties. It is a recovery-oriented service jointly managed and offered by the Mayo Mental Health Services and Mental Health Ireland.
It has recently employed four new family peers who will cover the whole of the County of Mayo, offering a free, self referral support service which can be accessed directly by phone or by linking with the Adult Mental Health Service.
Linking with a family supporter gives families an opportunity to talk to someone in person who has gone through similar experiences and found ways of building their own resilience. The centre focus of this service is about you and what you need to stay strong in challenging times.
The four new family peer supporters are;
- Mary O’Connell Gannon from Castlebar, Co Mayo.
Mary has two grown up children who have brought great joy into her life. For over thirty years Mary has spent her time working at grass-root level in community settings, supporting people and communities. She has experience working in community based children services, family support provision and community development projects, designing and facilitating educational and intergenerational programmes.
Mary is an Alumna of the National University Ireland Galway where she studied Community Development Principles in Practice followed by Family Support in community settings.
To further support Mary in her current role she is studying peer support working in mental health through DCU. In her spare time Mary enjoys oil painting, Calligraphy and walking in nature, she also has a keen interest in Irish and Celtic mythology. Mary hopes to make a real difference in people’s lives.
- Fran MacKeever lives in Ballina Co Mayo with her three young girls and believes that being part of a community helps build a strong sense of belonging.
Fran is involved in her local GAA club and holds the position of Healthy Club Officer. She sits on the County Health and Wellbeing Committee as well. Fran is a founding member of The Mayo Mental Health Fair which aims to improve and promote positive mental wellbeing throughout the county.
She regularly gets involved in organising events at a local level, from promoting the Green Ribbon to organising Woodlands Walk and Talk your way to wellness evenings. After attending a Cycle against Suicide Event in 2018 Fran was so inspired she took up Cycling and has continued to do so as part of her own wellbeing plan. Fran has also sat on various groups representing Family and service reform and is currently studying for a Certificate in Peer Support working in Mental Health in DCU with the hope of bringing real value and energy to her new position.
- Dymphna Folliard lives in Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo.
For the last thirty years she has been farming as well as taking care of her five children who are now grown up and finished their education. Having been a past service user of Bealach Nua, Dymphna was inspired to become a family peer support worker.
She attended GMIT and studied Recovery in Mental Health and Neurodiversity. When the position of family peer support worker arose she applied for the position and was extremely excited to be successful. It is very important to Dymphna to be there to support another family member when they are in a crisis. Dymphna is a highly pro-active and motivated person who always strives to provide the highest standard of care.
She enjoys painting and drawing in her spare time and has a keen interest in carpentry having built a wide range of household items. She has a very active lifestyle and enjoys activities such as gardening, farming and walking. Dymphna is delighted to be part of the Bealach Nua Team as Family Peer support worker.
- Noel Hoare is from Roscommon and works in County Mayo.
He has always been interested in mental health and has a lot of lived experience in supporting people who have experienced mental health challenges, Noel also draws from his own experiences.
He is trained in co delivering and co facilitating workshops relating to mental health topics with ARI (Advancing Recovery in Ireland) and with REGARI (Roscommon East Galway Advancing Recovery in Ireland). Currently he is studying Peer Support Working in mental Health with DCU.
Noel is also actively involved with a number of local charities that help people with their mental health and well-being through accessing services and supports. Living rurally in Co. Roscommon, his hobbies/interests include farming, walking, biodiversity, history, archaeology, gardening, kickboxing and most of all family.
The service can be contacted by calling the office on 094 9049392 or alternatively our mobile contact numbers are 086 0450835 or 087 9749288.