Pieta House Roscrea suicide crisis centre launched

Martina Leamy, Siobhan Galvin, Valerie Quinlan, Gillian Dowdall, Anny Schonewille, Joan Freeman, Cindy OConnor
Pieta House’s founder and CEO Joan Freeman was in Roscrea this week to officially launch Pieta House’s Roscrea suicide and self-harm crisis centre.

Pieta House’s founder and CEO Joan Freeman was in Roscrea this week to officially launch Pieta House’s Roscrea suicide and self-harm crisis centre.

The centre, which opened earlier this summer, provides a free, professional therapeutic service for people in distress. Originally intended as a part-time outreach centre, demand has been very strong and the centre is now open six days a week.

The campaign to bring Pieta House to Roscrea was initiated two years ago by a committee, led by Paul McNamara, who recognised the need for a suicide support service in the region. The committee led a successful fundraising campaign with the support of North Tipperary LEADER Partnership, the Lions Club and the HSE.

“I’m thrilled to see everyone’s hard work come to fruition today as we launch Pieta House Roscrea,” said Joan Freeman at the launch in the Abbey Hall on Tuesday. “Our committee in Roscrea saw what a huge problem suicide was in the area and they had the courage to look for help and invite Pieta House to open a centre here. They deserve huge credit for all their efforts in turning invisible despair into visible hope,” she said.

The launch was attended by Pieta House staff from Dublin, Limerick and Roscrea, members of the Pieta House Roscrea committee, the Roscrea Lions Club, the North Tipperary LEADER Partnership and Cllr. Michael Smith who has had been a strong supporter of the service.

“The suicide rate in North Tipperary, Offaly and Laois has always been very high so it’s fantastic to now have Pieta House in our town,” said Mairead Ramsbottom from the Pieta House Roscrea committee. “It’s a beacon of light in the area and it has already become such an important part of Roscrea. I think it’s brilliant for our young people that they have Pieta House in their town and the service is right there if they need it. There’s no stigma attached to going to Pieta House,” she said.

Pieta House Roscrea is located in Glebe View, Ballyhall and is open Monday to Saturday. To make an appointment for yourself or for someone else, call 0505-22568. A doctor’s referral or a psychiatric report is not required and the service is completely free of charge.

As 80% of Pieta House’s funding comes from public donations, the service relies heavily on the support of its volunteers and fundraisers. New fundraising committee members and volunteers are currently required throughout the country. For more information or to get involved, call Kieran O’Brien on 061-484444 or email kieranobrien@pieta.ie.

Pieta House is a suicide and self-harm crisis centre 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. Three more centres will open in Tuam, Cork and Castleisland later this year.

Pieta House provides a professional, face-to-face, free of charge therapeutic service for people in the acute stages of distress. The unique, clinically-based model developed by Pieta House is used across its six centres. Pieta House’s primary aim is to reduce suicide by helping people get through that critical phase when suicide becomes a plan rather than just an idea.

Demand for Pieta House’s service continues to grow, and 2012 saw a 42% increase in the number of people seeking help. As 80% of the organisation’s funding comes from public donations, fundraising is vital to ensure an ability to cope with the increasing numbers seeking help. To date, over 8,000 people have been seen and helped by Pieta House

Pieta House’s vision is that no-one in Ireland should be more than 100 kilometres from a Pieta House centre where they can avail of the clinical services at that time of crisis.

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Pictured at Pieta House Roscrea are Martina Leamy, Siobhan Galvin, Valerie Quinlan, Gillian Dowdall, Anny Schonewille, Joan Freeman, Cindy O’Connor