Support Groups and Family Initiatives

Phrenz support groups

Phrenz groups are for people who have experience of a mental health problem. Sharing experiences with others can be a great way of learning new coping skills and growing your support network.

Phrenz groups are a chance to learn and to make friends. Sometimes, the groups go on outings and take part in activities together, organised by group members.

All Phrenz groups are facilitated by people who have experienced mental ill health. For details of your nearest Phrenz group, contact one of our Regional Development Officers.

Relatives support groups

Relatives support groups are for families, carers and friends of people with mental ill health. All of these groups are facilitated by someone who has a relative with a mental health problem.

In challenging times, it can be helpful and reassuring to talk to other people with similar experiences. Learning from other people’s ways of coping is an important function of our relatives groups.

To find your nearest group, contact one of our Regional Development Officers.

We’ve also published guidelines for realising a family friendly mental health service.

Further reading:

Refocus: Listening to the needs and experiences of carers of people with mental illness


FRIENDS stands for Family Recovery Initiatives by Engaging, Networking and Developing Supports. FRIENDS is a partnership between family members, Áras Folláin, Shine and the Mid-West HSE. Family recovery is the process of becoming aware of how our behaviours and beliefs impact our relationships and quality of life. When someone practices family recovery, it can have a positive impact on everyone involved in our lives, in particular the person experiencing mental health issues.


Front Cover of Friends Project Evaluation


FRIENDS Family Recovery Booklet



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