Free mental health care will soon become easier to access in West Cork

Posted on: 9th March, 2015

Category: Health & Lifestyle

Contributor: West Cork People

The West Cork Suicide Prevention Service, Lisheens House, has taken another step toward realising its dream to offer free counselling to anyone in the region who needs it. Lisheens House organisers, Noreen Murphy and Mick Kearns, are delighted to announce the opening of their first drop-in centre location on Main Street Skibbereen which is due to open in early April.

“We have been waiting for suitable premises in the right location and the shop next door to Pierce Hickey’s newsagents suits our needs perfectly,” said Mick

Lisheens House will continue to operate the 023 8888888 HELPLINE offering free counselling throughout the whole of West Cork. This next step is extending the service to allow for people to call in and chat with someone face-to-face during open hours.

Because the service is free, fundraising is an important component of Noreen and Mick’s work.  Therefore the store front will be run as a charity shop with room in back for a friendly chat and a coffee.  A space will be available for private counselling as well.

“Right now the plan is to be open six days a week from Monday to Saturday,” says Mick. “In time we will want to replicate this model throughout West Cork to offer assistance to everyone who needs it.”

Lisheens House is the brainchild of Noreen, who lost her husband to suicide in 2008. In her experience, mental health facilities are too difficult to navigate for some folks debilitated by depression or other mental health issues. It has been her mission to ensure that as many people as possible who need mental healthcare get it.

To this end, she and Mick have assembled a team of volunteers and accredited counsellors dedicated to helping Noreen reach her goal. Until now all contact with the public has been through the helpline or through pubic fund raising events.  The prospect of finally opening a drop-in centre is an exciting one.

“We are thrilled to take this next step. I’m really looking forward to opening the doors,” said Noreen.  “It has been the generosity and support of the people of West Cork that has enabled us to get this far and we hope they will continue to support us on our journey to ensure that anyone in our community that needs help will be able to access it free and without delay.”

Donations of quality used items can be dropped at the new location from the March 1 or please email lisheenshouse@gmail.com or call 086 1721269 to arrange collection.

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