The Friends of Newcastle support individuals and families who experience and deal with mental illness or mental stress on a day to day basis. it supports and promotes a “recovery” approach to treatment. As a Community based committee, it is committed to supporting initiatives that directly affect and improve the welfare of people experiencing mental illness and to providing financial support to the local mental health committees to promote awareness of theimportance of positive mental health.
Newcastle Hospital was established in 1966 as a community adult mental health service in what was the original National Consumption Hospital of Ireland. The original 19 acre site at Newcastle was donated by the Earl of Fitzwilliam of Coolattin, Shillelagh Co Wicklow in 1891.
In the early 80’s a group of dedicated staff formed The Friends of Newcastle in order to address the issue of mental health stigma and social isolation that was prevalent at that time for a large cohort of mental health patients and their families. In the intervening years the friends grew from strength to strength. They organised over 25 annual garden fetes, which saw thousands of people coming into the beautiful 36 acre site on the grounds of the hospital on the 3rd Sunday of every June. The annual Golf classic which was held in Djouce Golf Club for many years brought in much needed funds which resulted in the building of a Visitors Centre and a unique multi sensory garden. It is to their credit that the Friends continued through difficult economic times and the outcome of their efforts can be seen and felt throughout the services and have been much appreciated by those in need.