Pieta House Midlands officially opened its newly refurbished premises on Sean Costello Street, Irishtown, Athlone on Thursday last week.
Established in 2006, Pieta House provides freely accessible, professional services to people in suicidal crisis or who are self harming, as well as suicide bereavement counselling, and now has 15 centres around Ireland. To date, Pieta House has worked with more than 35,000 people.
Since the initial opening of the Athlone premises back in October 2017, the centre has already provided support to 79 people in the local area. Under the management of Siobhain Leijen, a team of eight, including therapists, clinical support workers and administration staff, are providing this vital community service.
Speaking at the opening, Pieta House CEO, Brian Higgins, said: “Athlone and the Midlands have a very real need for the service we offer, and we are delighted to finally have a base here.
“The growth of Pieta House has always been led by communities. People come together and say there is an issue around suicide and self-harm in their community, and they want to respond to it, to eradicate these elements from their communities.
“We are delighted that we’re here with the support of the people of the midlands. We need people across the midlands to engage in the conversation around suicide and self-harm, to address the issues around the stigmas that lead people to suicidal ideation. That includes stigmas around body image, relationships, sexuality, identity and around colour and creed. These stigmas lead people to our doors.”
Appointments can be made with Pieta House Midlands by calling (090 ) 6424111. The organisation also provides 24/7 therapeutic support via its Freephone helpline on (1800 ) 247247.
There is no charge for any services provided by Pieta House, and clients may refer themselves to the service without going through their GP or clinician.