Meet the Mental Health Reform Team
Dr. Shari McDaid
Dr. Shari McDaid was appointed Director of Mental Health Reform, the national coalition advocating for reform of the mental health system, in October 2013. She is the Chairperson of the Children’s Mental Health Coalition and a member of the Healthy Ireland Council. In July 2016 she was appointed to the National Taskforce on Youth Mental Health by the Minister with responsibility for mental health Minister Helen McEntee. Shari joined Mental Health Reform as Policy Officer in 2011. Prior to that, Shari worked with Amnesty International Ireland from 2008 to 2011 as Policy Officer on its mental health campaign. She was previously Policy Officer at the National Disability Authority and Policy and Administration Manager at Shine. Shari received her PhD in 2008 from the Equality Studies Centre at UCD, with a thesis entitled Power, Empowerment and User Involvement in the Public Mental Health Services in Ireland. Shari co-edited with Prof. Agnes Higgins the text Mental Health in Ireland: Policy, practice and law, published in 2014 by Gill and Macmillan.
Governance and Operations Manager
Jim Winters joined the organisation in August 2017 as Governance and Operations Manager. Jim has over 15 years' experience working in in legislative and policy analysis, advocacy, communications, capacity building, strategic planning, and project management. Before that Jim worked in the private sector. Jim's current role sees him responsible for coordinating the organisations internal functions including human resources, finances and operations. Jim was awarded a Masters in Community Development from National University of Ireland, Galway in 2002. Jim has a keen interest in the issue of access to justice for people for marginalised groups.
Senior Policy and Research Officer
Kate Mitchell joined Mental Health Reform as Policy and Research Officer in September 2014. Before that Kate worked in the area of local development in north east Dublin and coordinated youth leadership and health promotion programmes, including mental health, cross border regeneration and relationship building. She spent 18 months facilitating the Ombudsman for Children’s Human Rights Education Programme. During this time, Kate was also contracted to work for Headstrong National Centre for Youth Mental Health on the development of Jigsaw sites in Tallaght and Clondalkin. Kate has spent time volunteering with Women’s Aid, the Separated Children’s Education Centre and Unicef Ireland.
Dr. Pádraig Ó Féich
Dr. Pádraig Ó Féich joined the Mental Health Reform team in June 2018. Before that, Pádraig completed a year-long post-doc working with University College Dublin and the Childhood Development Initiative on a housing policy paper. An experienced mixed-methods researcher and former UCD scholar, he was awarded a PhD by the School of Psychology in UCD in 2016, with a thesis entitled ‘A Study of Divergent Social Identities: The Case of Liberal-Catholics’. He has a history of research in the community sector, is currently a volunteer director of an inner-city community organisation, and has a strong interest in advocacy-based research.
Communications and Campaigns Officer
Ray Burke joined Mental Health Reform in February 2016. Before this he worked as a Policy Assistant with the Disability Federation of Ireland on a project aiming to foster better connections between local groups for people with disabilities. Ray spent 4 years working in community development in south west inner city Dublin, leading a number of training and development programmes in the areas of literacy, numeracy and ICT use. Ray has also worked as a research assistant on a number of Needs Analysis projects in inner city Dublin. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
E-mental health project officer
Dominika Topolska joined Mental Health Reform in November 2016 as e-Mental Health Project Executive. The e-MEN project, in partnership with 5 other EU countries, aims to develop an EU-wide platform for e-mental health innovation and implementation. Prior to joining MHR Dominika has worked for 2into3, Forum Polonia, Dublin Employment Pact & New Communities Partnership (EU Integration Fund Project) , Crosscare Migrant Project, Migrant Rights Centre Ireland (MRCI) and the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI). Dominika has a MA in Intercultural Studies from the Jagiellonian University.
Digital Communications & Development Officer
Ross Flanagan joined the Mental Health Reform in July 2018 as the Digital Communications & Development Officer. Having completed a BSc. in Psychology and studies in counselling, Ross has worked in many areas including homelessness and homelessness prevention, human rights, diversity and equality, and specialist palliative care. As a long standing advocate for mental health and diversity, Ross holds voluntary roles with the International Association for Youth Mental Health, St. Patrick's Mental Health Services, the Special Interest Group for the Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, and the National LGBT Federation. Pronouns: he/ him.