General Information


Recovery Experience Forum of Carers and Users of Services

REFOCUS originally formed in late 2011 with 10 people with experience of the mental health services, 10 of their family members and carers, and one psychiatrist (Dr Anne Jeffers). Members give their time to work with the College in improving training of psychiatrists, and in identifying ways to improve the mental health services. The committee now comprises 8 people with experience of the services, 8 of their family members and carers and 8 psychiatrists, with Dr Anne Jeffers still as Joint Chair, and Kara Madden, who has been involved with the committee since its inception, taking up the second Joint Chair position. The work and objectives have broadened to encompass on going education and training of psychiatrists.

Through a series of regular meetings and sub group meetings REFOCUS debates issues, writes papers, presents at conferences and is invited to events of external bodies where the voice of those who use the mental health services and their family members/carers are found to be invaluable.

REFOCUS Papers look specifically at the role of the carer and/or service user such as Who Cares? Listening to the needs and experiences of carers of people with mental illness and On the One Road to Recovery which both aim to raise awareness of their specific needs. College faculties and Council have had an opportunity to advise and comment on the papers, but the content of all REFOCUS papers are solely the responsibility of those who have used the services and their family members and carers. Council members have welcomed REFOCUS papers as a means of facilitating more dialogue between College members and both users of their services and their family members/carers.

You can read or download any of the REFOCUS papers and publications here. The Committee are currently working on two papers on Spirituality and Family Dynamics which they hope to complete and gain Council approval in 2017.

REFOCUS have published an Inaugural Report which documents its work since the groups inception in 2011 to 2014. The full inaugural report is available to download here.

REFOCUS have also published Annual Reports which document the committees work from 2015 and 2016.

Click here to download the REFOCUS Annual Report 2017
Click here to download the REFOCUS Annual Report 2016
Click here to download the REFOCUS Annual Report 2015

REFOCUS Members 2017

  • Dr Anne Jeffers – Joint Chair
  • Christine McCabe – Joint Chair
  • Angela Dooley
  • Julie Healy
  • Brian McNulty
  • Laura Louise Condell
  • Kara Madden
  • Louisa Corr
  • Diarmuid Ring
  • Marina Bowe
  • Eileen McCluskey
  • Rick Rossiter
  • George Bridges
  • Tony Blackmore
  • Jeannine Webster
  • Verena Keane
  • Marie Oppoboen
  • William Flannery
  • Ciara Gillespie
  • Julie Cleere
  • Mia McLaughlin