Pieta House urges rural isolated to open up on difficulties

Many small farming communities have experienced a rapid change in their way of life – as technology takes over and further regulations are imposed – said Siobhan Leijen, centre manager at the recently-opened Pieta Midlands centre in Athlone.

“Sometimes, one may think of suicide as a way to end uncomfortable feelings, stress and overwhelming emotions.

“Some may even make a plan to die by suicide. I cannot urge those feeling like this enough to make contact with us or a least to tell someone how you feel,” Siobhan said.

Pieta House opened at 92 Sean Costello Street, Athlone, on October 2 last. A centre for the prevention of suicide and deliberate self harm, it provides crisis intervention to those suffering with suicidal thoughts and engaging in deliberate self harm.

Bereavement counselling is provided for those bereaved by suicide. The centre’s suicide bereavement liaison office is at hand whenever a family has lost someone to suicide. They call on the family and support them during the initial stages of grief.

“Additionally, we offer a 24/7 helpline – 1800-247247 – where qualified therapists are available to take crisis calls at any hour of the day or night all year round. All of our services are completely free of charge and delivered by trained professionals,” Siobhan said.

The centre has six therapists covering six days a week from Monday to Saturday.

From the moment you make contact with us, we endeavour to greet you with warmth and compassion. All our clients are treated in high regard and offered our trademark cup of tea on arrival.

“Potential clients can contact us directly to book an appointment by phone – we are not typically a walk-in service – or they can be referred by their GP if they prefer.

“Clients of all ages can attend our centre. Clients under 18 years old must have a parent or guardian’s consent before attending Pieta House for their assessment,” Siobhan said.

Pieta House also offer the resilience academy for students in secondary schools. The programme runs over six weeks, aiming to build resilience in a number of different areas affecting young people.

Topics covered include: bullying; friendship; mental health; families; sexuality; managing school stress; substance abuse; and body image.

“Pieta House takes pride in delivering hope to those in despair, shining a light through the darkness and offering a safe place for all to feel at ease during troubled times. If you are feeling suicidal or you are deliberately self harming, please call us – we are here to help,” said Siobhan.

The centre is open from 10:00am to 6:00pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, with late opening until 8:00pm on Thursday, and closing early on Saturday at 2:00pm.

It can be contacted on: 090-642111.