Inclusive Innovation

Mental Health Innovation Showcase

Mental Health Reform held our Innovation Showcase on Tuesday, 21st of May from 9am to 1:30pm in Dogpatch Labs, Dublin.

Our National Mental Health Innovation Showcase to explore these groundbreaking initiatives firsthand, learn how to reach underserved communities, engage with leading experts, and forge collaborations that drive progress.

In order to meet the country’s mental health needs, embracing change, leveraging new technologies, innovative ways of working, and collaborative approaches are essential. At the heart of driving this innovation are the voluntary and community sector, whose dedication and creativity are transforming the landscape of mental health care.

Speakers included:

  • Dr Ruth Melia (Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology, University of Limerick)
  • Ivan Cooper (CEO, The Wheel)
  • Elaine Birkett (HSE)
  • Dr Ronan Glynn (EY)
  • Ciara Glynn (MHR Board Member and expert by lived experience)
  • Barnardos
  • Jigsaw
  • Mental Health Ireland
  • Pavee Point
  • Shine
  • St. Patrick’s University Hospital

Meet the Speakers

Dr Ronan Glynn

Dr Ronan Glynn is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. A physiotherapist and medical doctor, Ronan has a PhD in surgical oncology and post-graduate qualifications in surgery, public health medicine, healthcare quality and safety and health systems leadership. Over the last 20 years, Ronan has worked across virtually all parts of the healthcare system in Ireland, in public and private organisations, in patient-facing and policymaking roles and in multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral teams. As Deputy Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health, Ronan had a leadership role in the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland, including as Acting Chief Medical Officer and Chair of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) for six months of the pandemic. He has published over fifty scientific papers and has been an invited speaker at multiple national and international conferences. Ronan is now Health Sector Lead at EY Ireland.

Ciara Glynn

Ciara is involved in many innovative projects, in these spaces she brings her own lived experience of mental health and recovery. She has many years experience working in mental health as a lived experience practitioner, as a peer support worker in the HSE. Ciara just recently took up post as Clinical Operations Manager of Aware - Solace Café which is a new crisis resolution service in Dublin. She is a core team member of Kyrie Farm and an occasional lecturer in DCU, UCD & TCD. Ciara is an activist and advocate for rights based, trauma informed approaches in mental health. She is passionate about putting the voices of the people who access services at the centre of service delivery and design. Ciara also sits on the board of Mental Health Reform. ‘

Dr Ruth Melia

Ruth is an Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology at the University of Limerick, and a Senior Clinical Psychologist / Clinical Lead in the HSE Young Adult Team. Ruth is a researcher in digital mental health and suicide prevention. As a 2022 / 2023 Fulbright HRB HealthImpact scholar Ruth was based at the Joiner Lab, Florida State University where she researched the application to AI to ecological momentary assessment data in suicide research. Previously, as a Fulbright Visiting Scholar 2016 / 2017 Ruth collaborated with researchers at the Suicide Prevention Research Lab, Stanford University. Ruth is a member of the Board of Directors of Jigsaw – The National Centre for Youth Mental Health, a former Chair and current committee member of the Psychological Society of Ireland Division of Clinical Psychology, Steering Group member of the Clinical Psychology Today Journal, and a member of the Sharing the Vision Digital Mental Health Specialist Group. She recently founded the Digital Mental Health research lab at UL.

Elaine Birkett

Elaine has been in the Irish Health Service for over 20 years working across a range of locally led services initially and is positioned at a national level working with HSE Organisation Development & Design, supporting the implementation of the new integrated health regions across the organisation. Elaine brings a lens of Human Behaviour, Change Coaching & Mentoring and systems thinking to her work as an OD Practitioner, supporting leaders and teams navigate the complexity of people and culture change coupled with her organisational knowledge.

Ivan Cooper

Ivan Cooper took up the role of CEO of The Wheel in May 2023. In his previous role as Director of Public Policy, he was responsible for progressing The Wheel's policy positions on cross-cutting issues affecting the community and voluntary sector, such as charity regulation, funding the sector, encouraging active-citizenship, quality standards, and raising awareness of the role and significance of the sector. He has wide-ranging career-experience working in private, public and community and voluntary sectors including diverse roles from managing finance, ensuring good governance, developing funding and business lines, developing strategy, directing public affairs, engaging with the media and general high-level communications work. He represents The Wheel on a range of national and international fora, and he regularly works with the boards of community and voluntary organisations on their governance and trustee responsibilities. A big believer in lifelong learning, he has an MBA from Smurfit Business School, a Diploma in Development Studies, and a primary degree in psychology and philosophy from UCD.


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