19 Jan 2022

Calls for mental health centre in Offaly town to reopen

Calls for mental health centre in Offaly town to reopen

The Birr Mental Health Centre is located in the former convent on Wilmer Road, but it's been closed for 21 months.

THERE have been a number of calls in recent weeks for the Community Mental Health Day Care Centre on Wilmer Road, Birr to re-open after many months of being closed.

The HSE closed the facility on a temporary basis when Covid broke out in Spring 2020 and moved its employees to providing Covid oriented services. Now, 21 months later, the Centre remains closed.

Cllr John Leahy contacted the Midland Tribune this week and said he was calling on the HSE to open this essential and cherished service once again.

The councillors will be meeting the HSE about the Primary Care Centre in January and Cllr Leahy will raise the issue during the meeting if the Mental Health service still remains closed.

“A number of constituents have contacted me about this service,” said Cllr Leahy. “It's a very important service for them. It provides an invaluable social outlet. They are very displeased that it remains closed. They want to get back to living their normal lives after many months of being turned upside down by Covid.

“These constituents might suffer from depression or anxiety. Being able to go into the Wilmer Road centre one or two days a week means an awful lot to them. They have a chat. They have a cup of tea. They have group sessions. It's a crucial social outlet for them which they greatly look forward to. It's a cruelty to deprive them of it. It's especially needed during these dark winter days.”

He said the service is used by people from Birr, south Offaly and west Offaly.

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