We are hiring!

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Community Development Officer – CHO 3

Job Description & Person Specification

Reports to:         Senior Communications and Advocacy Officer

Location:             Limerick City

Duration:             1 year

About Mental Health Reform

Mental Health Reform is Ireland’s leading national coalition on mental health. With over 70 member organisations, we work together to drive progressive reform of mental health services and supports in Ireland.

Our vision is of an Ireland where everyone can access the support they need in their community to achieve their best possible mental health.

Position Summary

With the support of the Senior Communications and Advocacy Officer, the Community Development Officer will develop the capacity in Community Health Organisation Area 3 (CHO3) among concerned individuals and organisations in order to develop local grassroots collective advocacy around issues affecting people with mental health difficulties, in line with Mental Health Reform’s Strategic Plan 2018-2020.


Main Responsibilities

  1. Training/support/development of local groups
  • Build trust and working relationships with people directly affected by mental health difficulties, their families/friends/carers and organisations working with them
  • Facilitate or attend local meetings and fora to develop an understanding of priority issues for people with mental health difficulties and families/friends/carers
  • Develop and deliver collective advocacy training and capacity-building programmes at local level
  • Develop and run collaborative projects with and between local organisations to highlight issues affecting people with mental health difficulties
  • Gather evidence of unmet needs and identify potential solutions for identified gaps
  • Develop and seize opportunities to foreground people’s experience of mental health services and supports in local media, political fora and/or similar public spaces
  • Work proactively and independently to organise events and opportunities for people to share their mental health experiences with decision makers, media and members of the public
  • Support individuals to share their stories and drive progressive reform of mental health services
  1. Representing Mental Health Reform
  • Represent Mental Health Reform at local meetings, fora and to local politicians, HSE representatives and other area decision-makers
  • Represent Mental Health Reform in local and regional broadcast and print media
  • Organise a programme of social media communications to support local collective advocacy
  • Monitor local and regional media activity on mental health and Mental Health Reform
  1. Organisation
  • Work within the framework of the overall objectives and the policies and practices of Mental Health Reform
  • Contribute to the promotion of equality of opportunity, anti-discriminatory practice, diversity, individual rights and choice in all aspects of work
  • Participate in Mental Health Reform’s performance management system and engage in supervision sessions on a regular basis with the Senior Communications and Advocacy Officer
  • Participate in relevant training and development courses as agreed with the Senior Communications and Advocacy Officer
  • Undertake such other duties as might be reasonably assigned from time to time in consultation with the Senior Communications and Advocacy Officer
  • Update MHR’s contacts database, collect data and complete monitoring and evaluation reports as required
  • Carry out other administrative duties as required
  • Supervise interns or volunteers as required
  • Be vigilant to any Health, Safety and Welfare risks in the workplace and bring any concerns to the attention of the Director or Health & Safety Representative

As this is a new role, Mental Health Reform reserves the right to amend this job description to meet organisational needs.


Person specification

Essential qualifications, capabilities and experience:

  • Third level qualification in Community Development/Work, Youth Work, Social Sciences, Education or a related field
  • Experience of communicating with disadvantaged groups
  • Knowledge of the Irish mental health system and mental health issues
  • Experience of training and facilitating groups and individuals
  • Ability to gather and summarise qualitative and quantitative information
  • Project management experience
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Fluent speaker and writer of English
  • Ability to interact with people involved at all levels of the mental health system in a professional manner
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint


  • Commitment to the vision, mission and values of Mental Health Reform
  • A can-do attitude with a focus on continuous improvement within area of work
  • Ability to work independently and with initiative
  • Excels within a busy work environment

Desirable experience:

  • Experience of lobbying or campaigning
  • Local knowledge of mental health issues and organisations in CHO 3

Other requirement:

  • Full clean driving licence and access to a car.



  • This is a fixed term contract position subject to funding and completion of a probationary period.
  • 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.

Salary: salary will be commensurate with experience.

Hours of Work: 37 hours per week

Annual Leave: 24 days

Employer pension contribution: 5% after completion of probationary period



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

The closing date for receipt of applications is February 12th, 2019 at 5:00 PM

Mental Health Reform is an equal opportunities employer


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