Aware has launched a new freephone number for the organisation’s support line.
The service, available for individuals who experience depression or bipolar disorder, and for relatives or friends concerned for someone they care about, is available now on 1800 80 48 48 free of charge from Galway and throughout every county. The Aware Support Line is available seven days a week from 10am-10pm.
Director of services Bríd O’Meara said the organisation expects an increase in the number of people accessing the service as a result of the new freephone number.
"The Aware Support Line is an extremely valuable option for thousands of callers each year. It provides the space for the caller to be heard in an empathic and non-judgemental manner and importantly, helps them to identify and explore helpful options that are available to them.
"Often when someone is in the darkness that depression can bring, or when someone is dealing with the extremes of mood associated with bipolar disorder, it can be difficult to see any options: Aware’s Support Line helps to shine a light on options that are available to that individual caller."
Ms O’Meara said research carried out in the UK illustrated that telephone support lines could contribute to maintaining the mental health of service users and could be particularly helpful in dealing with self-harm.
"Aware volunteers receive excellent training to ensure that they can deliver an effective and helpful service to each caller so that they can manage their particular experience and minimise the impact on their life. Depression and bipolar disorder can have a profound effect on all aspects of the person’s life. We urge people who are impacted to pick up the phone and call Aware – our services can and DO make a difference."
The Aware Support Line is one of a range of support, education, and information services provided by the nationwide organisation, including support groups in Galway city and Loughrea. The organisation’s free CBT-based life skills programme also returns to Galway in three weeks’ time and for the first time is scheduled to take place in Loughrea: online registration is available now at www.aware.ie Further information about the support line and all other services is also available now on-line.