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National Traveller Youth Mental Health Service

The National Traveller Youth Mental Health Sevice is a pilot project to co-produce the design of a model for a Youth Mental Health Service for young members of the Traveller community. The project is underpinned by community development principles and best practice guidance for mental health service delivery. The aim of this project is to maximise community involvement in planning, designing, delivering and evaluating a Traveller Youth Mental Health Service for all Traveller children under the age of 18 years. There is extensive evidence that connected and empowered communities are healthy communities. Communities that are involved and engaged in service design and decision making improves people’s health and wellbeing.

This innovative pilot project aims to create a culturally appropriate and accepted model for a Traveller Youth Mental Health Service which can then be proposed to health and social inclusion funders. Through extensive consultation with Traveller youths, parents and organisations the project design, delivery and evaluation will be guided by Traveller community involvement. To guide the development of this project the structure will contain;

  • A full time Mental Health Community Development Youth Worker (project lead)
  • A part time Family Support Worker to complement existing family worker supports at Exchange House Ireland and to work alongside the community development worker
  • Counselling & psychotherapy provision for Traveller youths (<18 years of age) participants in this project who are experiencing mental health difficulties as well as being offered to the wider Traveller community over the two year period 

Utilising existing relationships with Traveller organisations and the National Traveller Mental Health Network the project will identify and create;

  • 5 regional areas for the project to concentrate on. Areas under consideration where EHI have established links include; Dublin North, Dublin South & Wicklow, The Midlands, The Northwest and Limerick City.
  • a Project Advisory Group comprising of EHI Senior Management, Youth Members and Traveller Organisations from the regional areas the work is being carried out.
  • a consultation network of Traveller youths, parent groups and Traveller organisations across all 5 areas.








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