Celebrating Cultures, Promoting Integration
We all struggle from time to time with the challenges that life throws our way. Mental health and wellbeing are an important part of staying healthy. We take a look at some available mental health services in Ireland.
Moving to a new country can be just as exciting as it is nerve wracking. Whether you are struggling to keep up with the process of adapting to a new culture or are looking for organisations to help with specific mental health conditions, there are a variety of ways to get the support you need in Ireland. There are a variety of mental health services in Ireland which can be availed of when help is needed. Keep reading to find out more.
Need help right now ?
It is first important to identify the type of help you require. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts and may be at risk of harming themselves or others, requiring emergency care is vital. Go to the emergency service in your nearest hospital or call 999 or 112 if you are unable to get there by yourself.
Some organisations also offer a 24 hour free to call helpline and are trained to talk to those in severe mental distress. If you find yourself unable to contact traditional medical services or would rather talk to someone, the following numbers are available at any time of the day:
- Samaritans (General Help) – 116 123
- Pieta House (Suicide Support) – 1800 247 247
- Childline (Under 19s) – 1800 66 66 66 or text for free at 50101
- Rape Crisis Network Ireland (for survivors of sexual violence) – 1800 778888
If you are not in an emergency situation and are looking for more continued support, several options are available to Irish residents.
Taking advantage of services that may already be available to you
If you are currently enrolled in an Irish college, or work in Ireland, chances are that free facilities you may not be aware of are available to you. Many institutions have at least one student counsellor. Depending on your field of work, your employer may have an Employee Assistance and Counselling Service (EACS) scheme which entitles you to free, confidential counselling. These services will generally be completely free of charge and will not require a medical card.
Although not all institutions will have a mental health service, be sure to communicate your needs with your superiors or your local disability service in order to make your students and work life as comfortable as possible.
When counselling isn’t enough
In Ireland, counsellors aren’t government regulated. While they may provide you with support and will be able to redirect you to relevant services if they believe your condition can’t be solved simply by talking things out, there are ways to directly access other mental health facilities.
The first and easiest step is to contact a General Practitioner (or GP) in your area. You will need a medical card to avail of free consultation. While GPs themselves aren’t trained specifically in mental health treatment, they will be able to determine any physical cause for your mental struggles and will direct you to the relevant services for you. Having a referral letter from a GP makes most private treatment options free as long as you have a medical card. Some of the options your GP may refer you to are:
- Individual or family therapy
- Mental health hospitals and units
- Addiction services and rehab
- Day or residential centres
Aside from general counselling, all of these options will have trained psychologists and psychiatrists at your disposal and will generally be closely watched by governmental inspectors in order to make sure that they are up to standards. Unlike counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists are government regulated mental health specialists and are able to provide treatment options and medication prescriptions.
All of these options are possible to access on your own, but keep in mind that they are often private and will need financial compensation without a referral letter.
If you are looking for more specific resources to help manage your situation, helplines and support groups, many additional voluntary organisations have online information and services at your disposal. Reach out to the following at any time.
- Alcoholics Anonymous Ireland – alcohol addiction support
- Anew – for new parents and pregnant women in need of support
- Helpline (from 10am to 5pm Monday-Friday) – 1800 281 281
- Anyman – for men experiencing domestic abuse and their children
- Helpline – 01 55 43 811
- Aware – Depression & Bipolar disorder support
- Bodywhys – Eating Disorders support
- Grow – general support
- HUGG – grief support
- Jigsaw – support for people under 25
- LGBT Helpline – for LGBT people, their families and friends
- Narcotics Anonymous Ireland – for narcotic addiction recovery
- One in Four – for childhood sexual abuse trauma
- Contact – 01 66 24070, 2 Holles Street, Dublin 2
- OneFamily – for single parents
- Helpline – 01 662 9212
- Turn2Me – online support for anxiety, depression, stress management and general mental health issues
- Save our Sons and Daughter Ireland – bereavement therapy and ongoing support for suicidal teenagers and their parents
- Locations in Carrickmacross, Cavan, Drogheda, Dundalk and Navan – find relevant contact information for each here
- Shine – recovery-oriented support for mentally ill people and their family
- Suicide or Survive – for past or present suicidal struggles
- Helpline – 1890 577 577
- Women’s Aid – for women experiencing domestic abuse
- Helpline – 1800 341 900
Remember that if you are feeling overwhelmed by the negative effects of stress, anxiety, depression or grief, contacting one of the mental health services in Ireland today is the best thing you can do for yourself. Addressing your mental health and getting appropriate support when needed should be a priority in order to keep a healthy lifestyle.