Coldtober 2022

L to R; Sam O’ Neill Board Member at Helplink Mental Health, Ruth Mc Court Marketing & Fundraising Manager Helplink Mental Health, Alyssa Manley Portwest Ireland, Lochlann Scott CEO at Helplink Mental Health

L to R; Sam O’ Neill Board Member at Helplink Mental Health, Ruth Mc Court Marketing & Fundraising Manager Helplink Mental Health, Alyssa Manley Portwest Ireland, Lochlann Scott CEO at Helplink Mental Health

In 2021 Helplink saw their month-long sea swimming fundraiser challenge for their services called Coldtober go national, so all of Ireland could take part!

More than twenty different locations around Ireland saw participants take part by going for a swim every day for this 31 day challenge in their local sea swimming area.

Helplink would like to thank to the 490 participants from 21 counties across Ireland who took part in Coldtober 2021!

L to R; Sam O’ Neill Board Member at Helplink Mental Health, Ruth Mc Court Marketing & Fundraising Manager Helplink Mental Health, Alyssa Manley Portwest Ireland, Lochlann Scott CEO at Helplink Mental Health

Helplink are so excited to open registrations for Coldtober 2022, our annual fundraising event for the month of October, each day they invite you to join them in this month-long sea swimming fundraiser challenge to help them get one step closer to meeting their mission; to support children, young people and adults with their mental health.

Follow the journey on their social media pages, and tag us on Instagram @HelplinkMentalHealth, Twitter @HelplinkMH and Facebook @HelplinkMentalHealth.

They also have a Coldtober 2022 Facebook Group. Don’t forget to use their hashtag #Coldtober!

The first 500 participants to register for the challenge will receive a Coldtober Portwest beanie from our sponsor Portwest Ireland, and the delicious, unique Solaris Tea to warm you up after your sea swim.

For anyone who would like to take part but isn’t near a sea swimming spot, you can take part by having a 30-second cold shower each day!

Register here >

By registering to Coldtober you agree to our Terms & Conditions >

“We are thrilled to be launching Coldtober for a second year in a row. Coldtober 2021 was a huge success and totally exceeded our expectations, we saw 490 participants register for the sea swimming fundraiser from 20 counties across Ireland, and the funding from this fundraiser helped Helpink’s counselling services to expand immensely! During 2021, in our Galway location, we provided just over 1,200 counselling appointments to children, young people and adults. In the first 6 months of 2022 we did the same amount of appointments as we did in the whole year of 2021; a 100% growth in demand!

We have also hired 16 new counsellors to keep up with demand for online and offline appointments, and have hired a full time Services Delivery Manager to monitor and streamline all of our counselling services and provide support to our counselors.

I’m delighted to be managing and executing the Coldtober 2022 campaign, I am so passionate about mental health services and hope with the continued expansion of Helplink we will continue to support and make a difference in people's lives. I’m a sea swimmer myself so I will be taking part again this year at Blackrock. Also a huge thank you to our sponsor Portwest Ireland who have come on board again this year”

- Ruth Mc Court, Marketing & Fundraising Manager at Helplink Mental Health

"Coldtober allowed us to hire a new play therapist to meet the demand for play therapy appointments, it has resulted in a whopping 42% increase in the service in the 4 months following Coldtober compared to the previous year. Play therapy supports children age 3-12 in Galway and Castlebar and allows children the time and space to work out what may be troubling them, supporting each child to fulfil their full potential"

-Lochlann Scott, CEO

Mind Hacks stats see below:

Unique Users of the Mind Hacks mental health Video and Podcast Libraries (August 2021 & August 2022 ) = 2300

Students supported through our primary school workshop for 6th Class students (The Voyage )  nationally = 3000

In their 10 years of service, Helplink has provided over 18,000 counselling appointments for children, young people and adults. Last year alone they provided 6000 appointments illustrating the large national trend of increased mental health support seeking from the public. Helplink also provides mental health information and education services and in 2020 they released their national e-learning platform called Mind Hacks ( ). On Mind Hacks the public have free access 24/7 to unique mental health video and podcast libraries and the platform also provides student mental health workshops; also available 24/7 over a continuous period.

Helplink launched our services on World Suicide Prevention Day the 10th of September 2012

The launch was held in the Chester Beatty Library and was launched by the actor John O’Dowd. Form the very beginning our mission has always been about providing accessible support services and we have kept to that mission for the past 10 years supporting children, young people and adults with their mental health needs locally, nationally and Internationally.

Mental Health Education Services

Stress & Anxiety Management / Stress Management & Communication Skills Workshops / Leader Workshops (Safe Communication & Workplace Wellbeing ) / Employee/Staff Workshops (Workplace Mindfulness & Wellbeing )

Helplink has provided these workshops to the general public, businesses, public bodies, charities and NGOs for the past ten years.

 The aim of the Stress & Anxiety workshops is to support the public in understanding what stress and anxiety is and how to deal with it in a more productive way. Furthermore, our Stress Management and Communications and Employee/Staff Workshops (Workplace Mindfulness & Wellbeing ) workshops support employees with managing their stress but also with how to communicate more effectively with other staff and with customers. And our Leadership workshops are aimed at managers, supervisors etc and can be tailored to the specific company requirements.

 These workshops provide knowledge and evidence-based practices in dealing with problems and also foster good company culture; which are important elements of success and employee retention. These workshops supported over 1000 members of the public/employees from businesses, charities and NGOs.


Student Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing Workshops

From 2016 Helplink began providing mental wellness and mental health life skills workshops for students in person in Galway and in Dublin supporting over 2000 students to better manage their mental health in primary, secondary and third level. When COVID-19 pandemic hit we very quickly pivoted (with the support of the Irish Youth Foundation, NUI Galway and others ) to provide these workshops online and at the same time increase the amount of students we were supporting because the workshops are now available nationally; since going online we have now supported over 5000 children and young people to develop long lasting mental health life skills as the workshops are uniquely available for 10 months after they have started for the students to practice and re-practice the skills.

More information can be found on our e-learning platform called Mind Hacks ( ).

Mental Health Information Services

The Helplink Show.  For three years, from 2018 to 2020, one of the mental health information services we provided was an award winning, radio show and podcast that was hosted live on many community radio stations across Ireland and also on an Irish radio station in Canada! The topics discussed on the show were: mental health, emotional wellbeing and community matters.

In 2019 The Helplink Show was the GOLD winner for ‘Social Benefit’ at the CRAOL Community Radio Awards! And then in 2020 the show was shortlisted for the ‘Headline Impact Award at the Mental Health Media Awards’. Mind Hacks Video & Podcast Libraries.

Helplink has designed and developed Ireland’s only digital libraries of mental health and emotional wellbeing videos and podcasts (with over 10,000 unique users ). The reason why they provide these services, since 2020, is that through their research over the years they have found that people are far more likely nowadays to watch a video or listen to a podcast than to read an article online. Keeping with their mission to make mental health accessible they have decided to develop and collate these libraries for the public. Essentially these libraries with content for all ages are The Netflix and Spotify of mental health content!

Mental Health Counselling Services

Helplink began its counselling service with an online counselling service that was ahead of its time and very effective; it was available nationally and internationally. The initial service was for over 18s only but over the years they have expanded the types of counselling services they offer and the age groups they work with and also they provide in person appointments in their offices in Galway and Mayo. Now they support children from as young as 3 and also youth – as a result they now support people throughout their lifetime; 7 days a week and out-of-hours!


Counselling Services Available:

General Counselling

Couples Counselling

Youth Counselling (including addiction )

Addiction Counselling

Bereavement Therapy

Play Therapy

Art Therapy

Student Mentoring/Counselling Services

Employee Counselling Service:

They provide a national staff (EAP ) counselling service that is available 7 days a week; nationwide. This is a pay-as-you-go service; which is perfect for companies small, medium and large.

Gambling Addiction Counselling Service:

In 2020 Helplink joined forces with the Gambling Awareness Trust to provide a national gambling addiction / gambling dependency counselling service that is available for free; 7 days a week and out-of-hours. In 2022 they expanded this service by providing aftercare groups for clients who have gone through the counselling process with our addiction counsellors. Tusla Commissioned Services in Galway: Since 2017 Helplink has been providing an alcoholdependency counselling service to clients over 18 referred to Helplink by Tusla. In 2021Helplink was commissioned by Tusla to provide a second service, where they provide counselling to Tusla foster carers in need of support (general, bereavement, addiction and/or couples counselling ). Irish Abroad & Returning Irish Counselling Service: we also have an international service where we provide our unique free, online Irish abroad counselling service for Irish citizens living abroad and returning Irish emigrants as well. Since they began providing our counselling services we have provided over 18,000 counselling appointments locally, nationally and internationally for children, young people and adults.



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