A suicide and self-harm crisis centre which will serve Galway, Mayo and Roscommon is due to open in Co Galway in the autumn.
Building work has already begun on the new Pieta House which will be located at Bishop Street, Tuam. The 17 week project is being carried out by John Moran Plant Ltd and is due to be finished by the end of October.
The centre has received offers of services from subcontractors and materials from local suppliers which will be incorporated into the wider programme of works.
Consultant engineer Fergal McGrane is overseeing the project which will provide a stand-alone centre with six counselling rooms, a reception area, waiting room, kitchen and an administration and fundraising office. The building will be wheelchair accessible and there will be parking spaces to the rear of the property.
Running costs for the first year are estimated to be in the region of €250,000 to €300,000. This figure would support approximately 375 clients at the centre in its first year.
Businessman and philanthropist John Concannon who starred in RTÉ’s The Secret Millionaire has been the main driving force behind the campaign to open a Pieta House in the west. He has led an extensive fundraising campaign over the past two years along with fellow Tuam men Michael Ryder and John Joyce, and with the support of a dedicated fundraising committee. A Facebook page and iDonate fundraising website have been managed by Tuam’s Paddy Coyne.
“I’m so proud to see all our hard work coming to fruition,” said Mr Concannon. “I’m delighted to play a small part in establishing a Pieta House service in the west and I want to thank everyone who’s put their shoulder to the wheel with the countless fundraising events held over the past 18 months.
“This huge effort really shows the commitment of a community at work in the three counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon. This centre will belong to the local people of the west of Ireland and they’ve put their money on the line to make it happen. There’s no class distinction with suicide and the doors of the Tuam Pieta House centre will be open to everyone.”
Pieta House’s aim is to have a centre within 100km of everyone in Ireland and this year sees the opening of four new centres throughout the country. Pieta House Roscrea opened earlier this summer and new centres will open in Cork and Castleisland later this year together with the Tuam centre.
“The campaign to bring Pieta House to the west has been absolutely extraordinary,” said Joan Freeman, founder and CEO of Pieta House.
“John Concannon has been instrumental in this and I want to thank him and everyone involved for all their hard work and commitment. I also want to encourage the people of the Galway, Mayo and Roscommon to continue to support this new service and take ownership of it so that it can thrive and grow in the coming years,” she said.
Pieta House, the suicide and self-harm crisis centre, was founded by psychologist Joan Freeman. It first opened its doors in Lucan, Co Dublin, in January 2006, and there are now four Pieta House centres throughout Dublin and one each in Limerick and Roscrea.
The centre provides a professional, face-to-face, free therapeutic service for people in the acute stages of distress. Its primary aim is to reduce suicide by helping people get through that critical phase when suicide becomes a plan rather than just an idea.
For further information visit www.pieta.ie