Description of the goods or services required
Evaluation of the HSE Traveller Mental Health Initiatives
The Health Service Executive National Social Inclusion Office invites submissions from individuals / organisations experienced in conducting programme / project monitoring and evaluation to undertake an evaluation of the performance to date of the Dormant Accounts funded Traveller Mental Health Initiatives.
The projects are ending their period of funding and an evaluation is required as a condition of the Dormant Accounts funding, additionally the evaluation will inform the community of practice.
Under the Dormant Accounts Fund 2017-2019 Action Plan €460,000 was allocated to develop Traveller mental health initiatives, to improve mental health outcomes for Travellers and to reduce suicide. These initiatives include maintaining and promoting positive mental health and well being and improving Traveller access to mainstream mental health services through the development of culturally appropriate services.
As part of the criteria for Dormant Accounts funding, a formal external evaluation is now required to review the 7 projects against the objectives as outlined in their respective applications.
Pavee Point – Traveller Mental Health Community Development Worker
The Eastern Region Traveller Health Unit – Mental Health Advocacy Worker
Donegal Traveller Project – Pilot Programme for Mental Health
Limerick Youth Service – Traveller Youth Advisory Group across five hubs in the Mid West
Meath Travellers Workshop CYWS – Programme of work including Horse Care / Women’s wellbeing / Men’s wellbeing / Access to mental health services and professional support
Smashing Times Theatre Company – Acting for the future, using the Arts to promote positive mental health and suicide prevention.
Galway Traveller Movement – A one year intensive Traveller led community and youth resilience programme.
Travellers are a minority ethnic group, indigenous to the island of Ireland. Travellers maintain a shared history, language, traditions and culture.
Travellers are recognised as one of the most marginalised groups in Irish society. This has a direct impact on Traveller health and in particular, Traveller mental health.
Social determinants of Traveller mental health
Poor mental health and common mental disorders are largely shaped and determined by social, economic and physical environments. This was reflected in the All Ireland Traveller Health Study (2010), as Traveller poor mental health was reportedly shaped by interacting forces including:
•Long term illness
•Low self esteem
•Lower education level
•Low levels of trust with service providers
Travellers are identified as a ‘high-risk’ group for suicide as suicide is 6 times higher for Travellers than the general population. The All Ireland Traveller Health Study (2010) found
•The Traveller suicide rate is 6 times higher when compared to the general population and accounts for approximately 11% of all Traveller deaths.
•Suicide for Traveller men is 7 times higher and most common in young Traveller men aged 15-25.
Barriers to Mental Health Services
The absence of a standardised ethnic identifier across all primary care settings (including mental health services and supports) means it is unclear how many Travellers access mental health supports. However findings from the All Ireland Traveller Health Study indicate various institutional, cultural, social and structural barriers that restrict Travellers from accessing and engaging with mental health services. These include:
•Discrimination and racism
•Lack of trust with healthcare providers (41% Travellers had complete trust in health professionals compared to 83% of general population)
•Lack of culturally appropriate service provision
•Lack of engagement from service providers with Travellers and Traveller organisations
•Social and cultural stigma attached to engaging with mental health services