Lifelink Café Case Study 2020

County Kilkenny LEADER Partnership SICAP Case Study 2020


About the Project

Lifelinkk Kilkenny has been supported by Kilkenny LEADER Partnership (KLP), through SICAP and the Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020 to undertake a feasibility study which would explore the potential of a ‘Crisis Café’ in Kilkenny. The vision is for a community/peer-led response to those presenting with a mental health crisis during out of hours and which would be open to all. The Crisis Café would be complimentary to existing services provided by the HSE and other voluntary and community service offerings. Currently out of hours’ services for those with mental health issues are almost nonexistent in Kilkenny. People in distress or crisis have to go to the Emergency Department at St Luke’s General Hospital which is not an ideal setting and leaves many leaving feeling more unwell than before arriving.

In an action initiated under Goal 1.1 of the SICAP Development Officer, Fergus Horgan and his colleagues from the Rural Development Programme worked with Lifeline to design an outline participatory research process that would engage with potential users of the café and with a wide set of stakeholders who would model a cafe around a well-documented set of local needs. Callan Workhouse Union – well known for their participatory research work and spatial design work, won the tender. The detailed and highly engaged research process looked at crisis café models in the UK in a Rural Development Programme Transnational Project, examined local resources and challenges and in a process of co-creation designed a local crisis cafe – now called the LifelinkK Café.  

The idea is that the LifelinkK Café would open in Kilkenny city and be available to be outside of hours (of mainstream services).  It is envisaged the café would be housed in existing services such as the Involvement Centre, Teac Tom or Grow - all community based mental health services. The café will build on the resources already in Kilkenny and cultivate a spirit of collaboration and mutual ownership of mental health, recovery and community. 

Current status; the report is complete. The next step for LifelinkK is a key meeting with the HSE about how to progress to the implementation stage. A date had been agreed but had to be cancelled due to WebEx problems and has yet to be rescheduled.

Video file 


 Link to report here:


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