Mental Health Reform: Community Development Officer

Community Development Officer –  Clare, Limerick, North Tipperary/East Limerick (CHO 3)

Job Description & Person Specification

Reports to: Senior Communications and Advocacy Officer

Location:  Limerick City/Home working

Duration: Contract until 31 January 2021

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 70 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

Position Summary

While MHR has been effective in advocating at a national level for improved mental health services and supports, so far we have not had the capacity to support local activism. Yet with the increasing focus on regionalisation of health systems and HSE management, and the importance of Grassroots activism, this becomes increasingly important.

The Community Development Officer will  play a key role in developing 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. The CDO will support local communities and member organisations and co-ordinate a collective voice in the region, calling for improvements in mental health services and supports.

Available funding for the remainder of the project will expire in January, when the final project deliverables will need to be met and the performance of the project reviewed.

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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

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
  • 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 work on own initiative to achieve set goal
  • 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


  • 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


Please email your CV and cover letter to  In your letter please state current remuneration (salary and benefits) and when you would be able to begin the role.

Closing date for the submission of applications is Friday, September 25th at 5pm.

Please Note: This document is not intended to be an exhaustive job description - it serves only as an overview of the role

Mental Health Reform is an equal opportunities employer


General Info

Date Entered/Updated
11th Sep, 2020
Limerick City / Home working
Expiry Date
25th Sep, 2020