Policy and Advocacy Coordinator

Job Description

Position: Policy and Advocacy Coordinator

Hours: Full-time (37 hours per week)

Start date: ASAP

Duration: 1 year

Reports to: Policy and Research Manager

Location: Coleraine House, Coleraine Street, Dublin 7.

[Please note MHR is currently developing a hybrid working policy which will allow for staff to work part of their time in the workplace and part of their time from home]

1. Position summary

This position sits in the policy and research unit. The role has overall responsibility for shaping and delivering MHR’s political advocacy agenda, delivering MHR’s policy work in the area of Mental Health legislation/international treaties, producing high quality submissions, developing and ensuring strong stakeholder engagement, and assisting MHR to deliver on its overall strategic goals.

2. About Mental Health Reform:

Mental Health Reform (MHR) is the national coalition driving reform of Ireland’s mental health services and supports. Our vision is of an Ireland where everyone can access the support that they need in their community to achieve their best possible mental health. With more than 75 member organisations and thousands of individual supporters, MHR provides a coordinated voice to Government, its agencies, the Oireachtas and the general public on mental health issues. See more at https://mentalhealthreform.ie/about-us/

3.Main responsibilities

Developing and implementing MHR’s policy reform agenda (legislation/international conventions)

  • Lead on the preparation of policy submissions, reports, briefings in the assigned policy area
  • Maintain watching briefs on own policy areas, liaising with key stakeholders in order to identify, react and participate in significant opportunities for influence as they arise
  • Work on request with the communications team to identify, secure and act on opportunities to communicate MHR policy positions through writing articles, blogs, online debate and events etc.
  • Ensure policy positions are coherent with the views and experiences of mental health service users and family members through regular consultations
  • Proactively monitor relevant developments in Irish and international mental health policy, practice and law
  • Conduct regular consultation with MHR’s member organisations, advisory groups and international and national experts

b) Building political support for MHR’s reform agenda

  • Work with the communications and engagement team to develop public facing campaigns (e.g pre-budget campaign)
  • Oversee the production of high quality policy submissions, briefings etc.
  • Organise events as appropriate
  • Develop and implement political advocacy strategies and identify key influencing targets with a view to influencing Mental Health policy and amplifying MHR’s voice and work
  • Plan and organise work to build MHR’s credibility, influence and relationships with members of the Oireachtas and political advisers, in support of MHR’s priority issues
  • Monitor opportunities within the Oireachtas for MHR to advance its agenda – debates, committee meetings, consultations etc. Advise on and coordinate responses to these opportunities in collaboration with colleagues as appropriate
  • Develop and implement a monitoring system to oversee MHR’s relationships and interactions with key Oireachtas stakeholder (TDs, Senators, committees, staff etc.) to enable reporting and evaluation.

c) Developing and strengthening partnerships

  • Develop and maintain a network of contacts to inform and increase the impact of our work
  • Consult regularly with members, people with lived experiences, peer organisations, allies and other relevant actors in order to stay current with trends and to ensure that MHR’s research, policy and advocacy agendas are responsive to these trends
  • Represent MHR in cross-departmental consultative forums and at public events

d) Assisting MHR to deliver on its overall strategic goals

  • Work within the framework of the overall objectives and the policies and practices of the MHR
  • Ensure all work undertaken complies with data protection and GDPR rules
  • Contribute to the promotion of equality of opportunity, anti-discriminatory practice, diversity, individual rights and choice in all aspects of work
  • Update MHR’s contacts database
  • Carry out other administrative duties as required
  • Lead, manage and coach staff within the MHR performance management system
  • Supervise staff, interns and/or volunteers as required
  • Participate in relevant training and development courses as agreed with the CEO
  • Undertake such other duties as might be reasonably assigned from time to time by the CEO
  • Be vigilant to any Health, Safety and Welfare risks in the workplace and bring any concerns to the attention of the CEO or Health & Safety Representative

4. The person

Skills, knowledge and experience required:

  • A third-level qualification in a relevant discipline
  • Satisfactory relevant experience in a senior advocacy or policy role
  • Adept at building strategic partnerships
  • Knowledge of advocacy campaigning and methods of influencing change
  • Proven experience of political advocacy including understanding of the political system and policy making in Ireland and at European level
  • Ability to translate policy and research messages for broad dissemination
  • Excellent organisational skills with the ability to manage tight deadlines
  • Fluent speaker and writer of English
  • Proven exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, both verbal and written


  • Experience in and familiarity with community and voluntary sector in Ireland
  • Proven knowledge of mental health policy in Ireland
  • Knowledge of Salesforce and online project management tools an advantage


The salary range for Coordinators is €40,000 – €50,000 & will be commensurate with skills & experience.

Mental Health Reform operates the following benefits for its employees:

  • Defined contribution pension scheme.
  • Annual leave 24 days, exclusive of public holidays, 1 company day and 1 wellbeing day per year
  • Access to an Employee Assistance Programme

Additional notes:

  • This job description is not a definitive list of tasks; rather it is designed to give an overview of the job. It is envisaged that the post-holder will use their own initiative and develop the job under guidance so that the organisation’s aims are achieved. It should be noted that the organisation is dynamic and fast paced and it may be necessary to step beyond the areas outlined above to support others from time to time.
  • This is a one-year position with the possibility of extending. Flexibility is required regarding hours as some weekend and evening work will be necessary. Travel and out of office work will also be a feature of the role.
  • Mental Health Reform is an Equal Opportunities Employer.
  • All documentation received by Mental Health Reform will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Acts, 1988 and 2003 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR; 2018). The information will only be used by Mental Health Reform in the processing of job applications and for ongoing administrative purposes with job candidates.

Application process:

The deadline for applications is Monday, 21st March.

Please email your CV and cover letter to info@mentalhealthreform.ie

Requests for additional information can be sent to info@mentalhealthreform.ie.

Applications will be reviewed and shortlisted on receipt.


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