MABS and Citizens Information support the Green Ribbon Campaign

See Change, the National Stigma Reduction Partnership and 90 partner organisations including the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) and Citizens Information Service (CIS) are rolling out a month long national Green Ribbon Campaign to get people talking openly about mental health problems in May 2015.

More than 500,000 green ribbons will be distributed nationwide free of charge to spark a national conversation about mental health. The ribbons will also be distributed via MABS and Citizens Information Centres around the country. The aim is to make the month of May every year synonymous with promoting open conversation of mental health and challenging the stigma of mental health problems.

You don’t need to be an expert to start talking about mental health or have all the answers. Sometimes the most helpful thing you can do is to let someone know that you are there for them and simply listen.

  • Talk, but listen too: simply being there will mean a lot.
  • Take your lead from the person: as a first step, ask them how best you can help.
  • Avoid the clichés: phrases like ‘Cheer up’, ‘I’m sure it’ll pass’ and ‘Pull yourself together’ definitely won’t help – being open minded, non-judgemental and listening will.
  • Keep in touch: there are lots of small ways of showing support – send a text or just ask someone how they are doing.
  • Don’t just talk about mental health: just be yourself, chat about everyday things as well.

Find out more on - Changing minds about mental health, one conversation at a time.

Taking Care of Business event

A Taking Care of Business event for the South East Region will take place in the Tower Hotel, Waterford on Thursday, 30 April 2015. 

These half-day events are for those who own or manage a small business or are thinking of starting a new business.

A range of State offices and agencies will give short presentations and answer questions about key regulations and assistance available to your business. Information stands will be open throughout, allowing you to speak informally with staff from each of the bodies attending. The events are an initiative of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

To find out more and to register visit

Attendance is free but early booking is strongly advised as numbers are limited.

Consultations on childcare and early education

The Inter-Departmental Group on Future Investment in Early Years and School-Age Care and Education Services is inviting submissions on childcare and early years education. This group is exploring ways of ensuring that current and future investment delivers more affordable, accessible and high quality early years and school-age care and education.

There are two separate online consultation forms – one for all stakeholders with an interest in the field (including policy-makers, practitioners, providers, advocates and academics) and one specifically for parents and guardians. The closing dates for submissions from the early years sector is Friday 1 May 2015 and the closing dates for submissions from parents and guardians is Monday, 4 May 2015.

Find out more from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. 

The July Programme

The July Education Programme is a funding arrangement for schools to provide further special needs education in the month of July. The scheme provides funding for an extended school year for children with a severe or profound general learning disability or children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Where school-based provision is not feasible, home-based provision may be granted.

Find out more about the July Programme, applying and registering for updates. 

Information from the Referendum Commission

The Marriage Referendum and the Age of Presidential Candidates Referendum are due to take place on Friday, 22 May 2015.

The Referendum Commission is an independent body that explains the subject matter of referendum proposals.

You can find their information on the upcoming referendums on provides information on the Water Conservation Grant is a new website from the Department of Social Protection and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.

It provides information on the Water Conservation Grant (€100), which will be payable to households that have registered with Irish Water by 30 June 2015.

It will be possible to apply for the Water Conservation Grant on from late August 2015.


Find out more in our document on water charges.

Find information on daily living aids on is an online resource that provides information on daily living aids, mobility aids and assistive technology, along with a directory of nearly 7,000 products.

Examples of equipment and daily living aids listed on this website include stairlifts, pendant and personal alarms, wheelchairs, walking aids, ramps and showering and bathing products.

Find out more on