If you're struggling, remember there is always help available
Today is Blue Monday and frankly, it has been a very tough week. As the nation prepares for the funeral of Ashling Murphy tomorrow and Omicron continues to hold a grip over our lives in a way we could not have anticipated six months ago, January’s wintery days are feeling particularly dark.
It’s more important than ever to keep an eye on your own mental wellbeing. Sometimes, we can feel like our issues are too small to trouble anyone with, not least the already-busy mental health charities. However, that is exactly what they’re there for. Whether you’re simply struggling to get back into your work routine after Christmas or just feeling the weight of the world like never before, it’s imperative that you look after yourself.
So 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 – you never know what a text or call can do for someone’s mood.
Each of these services is 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 in-person group meetings in Dublin, Cork, Galway or Waterford, or join their phone-in or Zoom calls. These can be booked 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 social enterprise for mental wellbeing that can help with a variety of mental health issues. A community-based mental health service designed to give early, affordable and direct support without stigma or delay.
It provides quick and affordable access to counselling and psychotherapy for individuals, children, couples and families, both face-to-face and online. You can book here online it offers a sliding payscale to their clients based on their employment status.
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.
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.