UCC CPD courses

Critical Conversations: Mental Health, Young People and Practice


Fact File


Upate: This course is currently closed for applications. To be added to the 2021 mailing list please fill in form below.


This one-day seminar will explore the theory, practice and policy in the area of youth mental health.

It will cover three main areas:

  1. The landscape of young people and mental health
  2. How to respond to a young person with mental health issues
  3. Legal and ethical considerations for youth workers and other workers surrounding addressing and managing mental health issues amongst young people

At the end of the seminar, participants should have knowledge and awareness of the following:

  1. The nature of mental health
  2. The context to mental health issues amongst young people in Ireland
  3. Responses to youth mental health issues, suicide, self-harm and grief in the community
  4. Key ethical, moral and legal aspects of addressing young people's mental health issues.

What People Said About Last Year

“I’m so glad I got the opportunity to take part in this CPD course. The multi-disciplinary approach was most informative, and I look forward to putting this new-found knowledge into practice”.

“It was good to see what’s happening outside the bubble of my workplace. Other organisations have worked hard to put in place useful structures that can be useful across many others.”


Speakers for This Year

The seminar will be delivered by subject experts, and we are delighted to welcome Martin Ryan and Joanna Ralston back again this year!

Martin RyanRegional Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention, HSE South, Cork; Martin holds a degree in Youth and Community Work from University College Cork.  Prior to joining the HSE Martin worked as a youth officer for Ógra Chorcaí.  Martin is a director of Meitheal Mara, the Cork community boatyard.

Joanna RalstonBarrister at Law: Joanna works as a Barrister in Cork and specialises in Family and Child Law and Property Law. She holds a Master’s degree in Child and Family Law from University College Cork.  She has a particular interest in research in Children's Rights and Mental Health Law.  She is currently undertaking a PhD in UCC on how the law can be changed in the area of mental health so that the voice of the child can be heard.

Fern Higgins-AtkinsonYouth Engagement Officer with Ability, a mental health programme for young people operated by the West Cork Development Partnership. Fern holds a degree in Youth and Community Work and a Master’s degree in Public Health from University College Cork.  

Moira McCarthyPersonal Development Officer with Ability, a mental health programme for young people operated by the West Cork Development Partnership. Moira has a background in Psychology and is currently undertaking a PhD on Dual Diagnosis at Trinity College Dublin

IASW Accredited.





Details on the location of the course will be provided on registration and payment for the course, but it will be held on UCC Campus.

On-street parking is available close to the university, and there are several options for pay-parking nearby:



The seminar is aimed at professional youth and community workers, and may also be of interest to teachers, social workers or anyone else working with children in a professional capacity.

There are no prerequisites.


Fees and Costs

To be Confirmed

How Do I Apply

Registrations for this course are now closed.

If you wish to be added to the mailing list for updates on the next intake please fill out the contact form. 

Contact details