A list of Irish mental health resources to bookmark during lockdown
If you’re struggling, remember there is always help available
With last night’s announcement of another six-week lockdown, it’s likely that many of us are feeling down and anxious about what’s to come. Although Taoiseach Micheál Martin did take the time to mention the importance of mental wellbeing during the new measures, being restricted from seeing friends and family, as well as stress outlets such as the gym, can be very difficult to manage for many people.
If you find yourself feeling more stressed, irritable, depressed or having irrational thoughts, it can be scary, but remember that there is always help available. We’ve compiled a list of mental health resources that you can take a look through, and see what might work for you. Remember to keep in touch with friends and loved ones too – even if you can’t meet up, chatting on the phone or via video call is a great way to lift your mood.
Each of these services are free to contact.
Samaritans is a free phone service for those who feel they need to talk about their situation. You can ring Samaritans whether you have a mental health issue or not, if you are worried about a friend or loved one, and even if you are under 18.
They are free to call 24 hours a day at 116 123.
Aware is a support service for people with depression and bipolar disorder. If you have a history with either of these conditions, or you think you may be depressed, you can get in contact with them.
Aware’s freephone support line is available Monday to Sunday from 10am to 10pm, at 1800 80 48 48. They also provide support and self-care peer groups, if you feel that might work better for you. If you are 18 or over, you can take part in these group meetings via phone or over Zoom, which you can book ahead of time each week. Find more information on their website here.
Pieta House is a charity that supports families and individuals affected by suicide, suicidal ideation or self-harm. If you are feeling suicidal or have been hurting yourself, or if you have been bereaved by suicide and are grieving, Pieta House’s therapeutic services can help.
You can freephone Pieta at 1800 247 247 to speak to a therapist right away if you are in crisis, or text HELP to 51444 if you would prefer to text. If you want to make an appointment with a therapist, you can phone 0818 111 126.
MyMind is a centre for mental wellbeing that can help with a variety of mental health issues. During the pandemic, they are offering free online counselling sessions to those whose mental health has been affected by Covid-19. You can check your eligibility and register to book an appointment on their website.
Jigsaw is Ireland’s national centre for youth mental health. If you or someone you know who is struggling is aged 12-25, you can speak to Jigsaw online, either through a one-to-one chat or a group session, through their website.
You can also freephone Jigsaw at 1800 544729, Monday to Friday, 1pm to 5pm. You can also text ‘call me’ to 086 180 3880 to request a call back for a time that suits you.
Women’s Aid provides support to women and families who are in danger of domestic abuse. Their freephone line is available 24 hours a day at 1800 341 900, providing free and confidential support.
Women’s Aid also provides an online instant messaging service every evening from 7pm to 10pm. During the pandemic, they have increased these hours to include Monday to Friday 10am – 1pm and Saturday 12pm to 3pm and Sunday 11am – 1pm.
If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can access their text service at 087 959 7980.
50808 is a free 24 hour text service, providing emotional support for those struggling with their mental health. The service is funded by the HSE, and helps with a wide variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and abuse and assault. To get started, text HELLO to 50808.
For children and young people, Childline provides support for mental health issues and various other problems. They can be reached by freephone on 1800 66 66 66, by text on 50101, or you can live message them on their website.
Jennie McGinn lost her mother Annie in October 2020. From an unusually large, and unusually female family, she writes about losing the centre of their family orbit and how she has managed parenting a toddler and a small baby while wanting to spend time completely submerged in her grief.
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