Why Slí Eile?

In a society in which at least one in four of us will be affected by significant mental health challenges, Slí Eile exists to promote mental health recovery and to support people to achieve lives that are rich, purposeful, satisfying and authentic to themselves.

As a consequence of mental health-related difficulties, people can struggle to flourish and sustain themselves in mainstream community settings. Although new community-based supports are increasingly being put in place, these are not always sufficient to meet people’s needs and the main alternative is often admission to psychiatric hospital, where the environment may not be fully conducive to holistic mental health recovery. Slí Eile, which in English means ‘another way’, seeks to provide another option: an option that gives people a better chance of rebuilding their lives and escaping the frightening cycle of repeated breakdowns and repeated hospital admissions.

How is Slí Eile organised?

Slí Eile operates through two non-profit charitable companies. One provides accommodation as a housing association. The other provides a variety of individual and group support services and facilitates people’s involvement in a range of social enterprises, including a fully-certified organic farm and market garden, a dairy and a bakery.

What are the benefits of Slí Eile?

Slí Eile harnesses the power of community living to build a strong foundation for mental health recovery. In circumstances where people’s self-belief and optimism have been undermined as a consequence of mental health-related challenges, Slí Eile provides affirmation of their unique personhood and upholds a strong conviction of their potential for recovery. In circumstances where people’s lives have been marked by emptiness or lack of structure, Slí Eile engages them in the patterned, purposeful way of living of a residential community. In circumstances where people have experienced loneliness or tensions in their relationships, Slí Eile supports them to connect with a diverse range of people and to develop their capacity for building and maintaining healthy relationships. In circumstances where people have lacked or lost the opportunity to participate in the world of work, Slí Eile facilitates their involvement in a range of ‘real-world’ social enterprises.

How do people progress through Slí Eile?

People progress through four steps on their recovery journey with Slí Eile. The first step involves settling in and adjusting to structured community living. The second step involves becoming a responsible, fully-contributing member of the community. The third step involves exploration and preparatory action in pursuit of what each person wants and needs in the next phase of their lives. The fourth step involves detailed planning and transitioning to this next phase. In most cases, the transition will be to a mainstream setting in the wider community but some individuals will instead transition to new, more specialised roles within Slí Eile. Those moving on from Slí Eile can remain connected with the community for as long as they wish and ongoing opportunities exist for them to avail of support, as well as to offer support to others.