What is the UNCRPD?

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is a United Nations document that sets out a series of rights and principles. People who have long-term mental health difficulties have rights under this Convention.

It states that Governments (States) must take steps to ensure that people can access and exercise the rights listed in the Convention. Further information can be found here.

Ireland adopted the Convention in 2018. This means that Ireland has made a commitment to protect and promote the rights of disabled people. Ireland must also report and be monitored on how well it is implementing the Convention, and in 2021 Ireland submitted its first report.

Our Work

Guide on Effective Public Consultation Processes for People with Psychosocial Disabilities

We have developed a guide to provide advice and information on how to consult effectively and inclusively with people with psychosocial disabilities. It is written to ensure that consultation processes by public services are as accessible and inclusive as possible for people who have lived experience of psychosocial disabilities.

People who have long-term mental health difficulties have rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). The term used by the UN to describe people living with long-standing mental health difficulties is “psychosocial disabilities”. Psychosocial disability refers to the functional impact or barriers that those living with mental health difficulties experience every day.

This guide is aimed at government departments, statutory agencies and organisations in the public sector who conduct consultations. This includes organisations delivering services in health, education, defence conservation, economics and policing as well as local authorities.

The guide offers practical information on the different phases of a public consultation process from the planning and design stages to implementation and evaluation.

By incorporating the tips and recommendations in this guide, organisations are signalling their intent to deliver more authentic public consultation processes which acknowledge the needs of people with psychosocial disabilities.

To mark the 5th anniversary of Ireland’s ratification of the UNCRPD, we held a webinar on the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Act 2015 and mental health.


We created a short guide that aims to help people to navigate their rights under the UNCRPD. Click on the button below to read our guide.

We also created an easy to read version of this guide. Click on the button below to access the easy to read version.


Disability Equality Training

This training was hosted by Peter Kearns. Peter is a long time disabled activist, artist and academic who works with Independent Living Movement Ireland. Sessions provided participants with a deeper understanding of what mental health and disability means, what the different models of disability are, and using a more rights based approach to mental health.

Communicating Effectively for Mental Health Advocacy 

This training was hosted by Pat Montague in October, 2021. Pat is a change advocate, strategist and capacity builder with over 30 years experience in assisting many organisations in delivering progressive social change. Sessions will provide participants with key communication skills to support involvement in advocacy groups, including practical strategies for communicating your own story, experiences and message. Access Pat’s slides and the Session 2 recording here:


Mental Health Reform held 2 consultation sessions and an information webinar on the UNCRPD in March of 2021.

We were joined by members of the public to discuss health, access to justice, work and employment, awareness raising, and other issues. The experiences we collected during these consultations were used to build a strong Mental Health Reform submission to the Initial State Report on the UNCRPD.

  • The information session is available to watch back in the video link below.
  • You can read our Submission on the Initial State Report under the UNCRPD, by clicking the button below.
  • We’ve also created an Easy to Read version of our Submission. Click on the Easy to Read button below to access.

We would like to sincerely thank everyone who shared their experience of living with psychosocial disability in Ireland during these forums.

If you would like further information on our work on the UNCRPD, please contact us at info@mentalhealthreform.ie to get involved.


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Mental Health Reform are a funded member of the newly established Disability Participation and Consultation Network (DPCN). The Network was established to ensure that persons with disabilities have input into making policy and laws in Ireland. Inclusion Ireland is leading the development of the Network, in partnership with AsIAm, Disability Federation Ireland, and Mental Health Reform. 

A first task for the DPCN was to carry out consultation on the Initial State Report under the UNCRPD.

DPCN Response to Ireland’s Draft State Report under the UNCRPD

Consultations were held in March to give DPCN members an opportunity to have their say on the State’s Draft Report under the UNCRPD. Following the consultations a Report was written and submitted to the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY). 

The full Report, an Easy to Read version of the Report, and a video with sign language interpretation and captions are available below.

World Health Organisation

The WHO Guidance on community mental health services: Promoting person-centred and rights-based approaches is a set of publications that provides information and support to all stakeholders who wish to develop or transform their mental health system and services to align with international human rights standards including the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

All of these publications can be found here.


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