A new therapy and counselling centre, ‘Lisheens House’ in Kealkil, Bantry aims to assist people suffering from depression and provide a safe haven. Spearheaded by Noreen Murphy, the project has just received charitable status and is starting to fundraise so it can become operational. The centre is something that is very close to Noreen’s heart. This is her story.
A 39 year-old man took his life in 2007; a family man, he got depressed and could not cope with life, and after one suicide attempt he eventually succeeded and ended his own life. That man left his wife, his children and let me tell you the tsumani it left behind was incomprehensible and unimaginable. That man happened to be my husband.
Following my husband’s death, life was extremely difficult; it was challenging prior, trying to deal with his erratic moods swings and his aggression, and he took all of his anger out on those who were closest to him. I felt he needed a place to go that would befriend him and allow him to talk; he refused to go to the hospital, as people, particularly men, do not want to be stigmatised. Even though the stigma is decreasing and more people are coming out and talking openly about their struggle with depression, many still find it so impossible to ask for help.
The impact of a suicide on a child is savage; when a parent dies it’s always painful, but a parent who dies by suicide most especially. Research shows that suicide has even more painful and potentially disturbing effects on a child. A suicide of a parent generates horror, anger, shame, confusion and guilt, all feelings that a child can experience as overwhelming. The biggest risk is to a child’s emotional health and to their development into adulthood. Many selfharm and turn to drink or drugs simply to kill their pain or they need someone to blame and lash out at those nearest to them. Those young men and women need to express these feelings and get an understanding of what happened in order to move on to live full and healthy lives, otherwise the risk of another suicide is high.
That is where my idea came from — to establish a centre, a safe haven. It was too late for my family but with the lack of services evident and with the help of other likeminded people, we established Lisheens House Counselling and Therapy Centre.
The goal is that the centre will become fully operational and fulltime covering all West Cork, but we are at the very beginning of the project. I have many qualified psychotherapist and counsellors who are willing to help establish the service. We want to provide alternative therapies like art, dance, music and healing like Reiki. Our aim is to provide a free phone contact so a person does not feel they have to leave their own home and we aim to provide therapy at home. Every person is an individual and the one thing we have in common is the need to talk, a problem shared is a problem halved.
Lisheens House will be there to assist those in times of distress and in need. It’s a huge undertaking but I believe people are good and so many people are currently over stressed and struggling with isolation, loss of a job, financial worries, grief, no matter what the problem is, it’s real and individual to each person and we will have the listening ear.
Lisheens House Counselling and Therapy Centre needs your help, no matter how big or small of a donation or to hold a fundraising event. We need your talents to get moving.
If you can help in anyway please contact Noreen Murphy on 086 1721269, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Charity number 20374. Bank of Ireland Account number 95904383 Sort Code 90 26 02.