MQI Hosts Seminar, 06/07/2017, on ‘Learning from the Experiences of People Who Are Homeless’

People who are homeless, especially those with more complex needs, such as drug and/or alcohol addiction and mental health conditions, are often characterised in our healthcare system as problematic. They may have difficulties keeping appointments or struggle to comply with treatment regimes and, as a result, can present management challenges. New approaches have been developed in recent years to address the healthcare needs of people who are homeless such as ‘inclusive medicine’ or ‘street medicine’. Today’s seminar seeks to build on these initiatives.

Drawing on people’s experiences of interfacing with medical services, both in community and hospital settings, the seminar will;

  • Examine the psychological impact of homelessness and how this affects a person’s self-efficacy and their ability to engage with services,
  • Explore homeless drug users’ experiences of participating in residential drug treatment,
  • Provide an opportunity for practitioners in the area to share their experiences and to discuss how best to improve services for this vulnerable group.

The learning from the seminar will be particularly helpful in planning services into the future and ensuring that they remain relevant and effective in meeting client needs and will also serve as a resource to others working in these areas.

Speaking at the seminar Tony Geoghegan, CEO Merchants Quay Ireland noted that:

“Poor health is closely associated with homelessness, and homeless people often have multiple health problems. Frostbite, leg ulcers and upper respiratory infections are common. Homeless people are also at greater risk of trauma resulting from muggings, beatings, and rape. Homelessness precludes good nutrition, good personal hygiene, and basic first aid, adding to the complex health needs of homeless people. In addition, some homeless people with mental disorders may use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate, and those with addictive disorders are also often at risk of HIV and other communicable diseases. Providing accessible high-quality health care is essential in the fight to end homelessness.”

Seminar Details:

When: Thursday 6th July 2017

Time: 10:00am – 1:00pm

Where: Franciscan Friary, 4 Merchants Quay, Dublin 8

The agenda for the day is as follows:

10.00am to 10.15am:   Introduction – Tony Geoghegan (CEO of MQI)

10.15am to 10.45am:   ‘Exploring Experiences of Shame Related to Being Homeless’

Dr Ciaran Jennings

10.45am to 11.15am:   ‘Homeless drug users’ experiences with therapeutic communities’

Mark Kennedy, MQI

11.15am to 11.45am:   ‘The experiences of people who are homeless with medical services’

Dr Cliona Ni Cheallaigh, St. James Hospital

11.45am to 12.30pm: Questions and discussion

12.30pm to 12.45pm: Wrap up and close.

Notes to the editor:

For more than four decades Merchants Quay has been here for people who are homeless and those who struggle with addiction.  Supports range from frontline food, health and accommodation provision to educational programmes, vocational training, settlement support, and residential detox and rehabilitation services.

For more information, please contact:

Carol Casey – Head of Fundraising and Communications

T: 087 130 6841

E: carol.casey@mqi.ie

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