‘It’s good to talk’ is the message being promoted by a new low cost counselling service being launched in Mullingar.
The new service, known as ‘It’s Good 2 Talk Westmeath’ has opened and is operating from a new premises at 1 College Street, beside the Garda station. It will be officially launched by former Minister Mary O’Rourke on Thursday May 30.
The aim is to provide a professional and supportive service to people who are finding their current situation stressful or difficult. As a community-based counselling partnership, services will be available to all members of the community, regardless of their ability to pay.
Chairperson of the Westmeath branch of It’s Good 2 Talk, Pat Galvin, explained that the service has been planned for the last six months and recently opened its doors to the public.
“It is already picking up momentum - the name of the service itself is hitting home. If people are having a crisis we would ask them to contact us. It is about helping people work through issues. We will work with people on the usual issues, from bereavement or depression to stress management,” said Mr Galvin.
Both individual counselling and family therapy are available from the service’s eight trained therapists.
Because the service will be based on people’s ability to pay, the centre is largely dependent on donations and fundraising.
“We are very much depending on local support; we have had a few small fundraisers and a number of people are doing the mini-marathon to raise funds,” added Mr Galvin. Anyone who can help with fundraising or donations is asked to contact the centre.
Cllr Avril Whitney says she believes there is a demand for such a service.
“I got involved because there is a great need for a service like this in the present time. Nobody will be refused; everyone is welcome, regardless of their ability to pay.”
The official opening of the new premises on College Street will be on Thursday May 30. The centre will be open to the public from 6pm, giving anybody interested in learning more a chance to drop in and talk to those involved in the setting up of the organisation, with the official opening by Mary O’Rourke at 7.30pm.