Mental Health: Community-Based Peer Support

Doras offers peer support to improve access to mental health services, fostering dignity and resilience. Join us in promoting well-being.

Man with pink background

The importance of mental health supports for migrants and refugees cannot be overstated. These individuals often face numerous challenges, including traumatic experiences, displacement, and cultural adjustment, which can significantly impact their mental well-being. Access to appropriate mental health services not only helps to alleviate their suffering but also promotes their overall dignity, integration, resilience, and ability to rebuild their lives in their new host countries.

Over the course of our work at Doras, we have seen how failures to respond to the diverse backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, and needs of migrant communities creates challenges. These failures impede interaction between healthcare providers and people who could benefit from mental health services. We also often see a lack of awareness of available services and supports or a reluctance to engage with these in some communities.

To address this, Doras has set up a peer support initiative in which community volunteers proactively engage with refugee and migrant communities to help them gain better access to mental health and wellbeing services and supports and to play a more active role in articulating their mental health and wellbeing needs.

The project draws on the findings and resources from a previous project called Promoting and Supporting the Mental Wellbeing of Refugees and Migrants (funded by the CFI Begin Together Fund 2021). In that project, we mapped the availability and accessibility of services, provided leaflets signposting to services in multiple languages, and developed insights and resources aimed at addressing the stigma associated with mental health and mental health and wellbeing services.

The community-based volunteers who engage with migrant communities provide a holistic, person-centred approach to identifying and responding to their mental health needs. They combine the learnings and resources from the earlier project with their own insights and understandings of the communities needs.

Having trained community-based volunteers who can communicate effectively helps to connect more people with existing services. It also helps communities to advocate for the changes required to make the services more accessible. This will result in more timely access to healthcare services and supports.

Several events, including coffee discussion mornings, have already been organised by Doras to support and enhance the wellbeing of individuals in migrant communities who are often socially excluded.

For more information, contact us by phone: +353-61-310328 or email:

Bank of Ireland Begin Together Logo

This project is funded by the Bank of Ireland/Community Foundation for Ireland Begin Together Fund 2022.