Pieta Announces New Video Counselling Service Ahead of World Mental Health Day

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6th October 2020: Pieta, Ireland’s leading suicide prevention charity,
has launched a new nationwide, free video counselling service. The new
service, announced ahead of World Mental Health Day (10 Oct), will be
provided in addition to Pieta’s phone therapy and ‘in-person’
counselling service which the charity provides across 19 locations
nationwide.

Since the beginning of March, and the pandemic, the Pieta crisis
helpline has answered over 10,000 calls directly relating to suicide,
self-harm, and suicide bereavement. The new, free video counselling
service, which consists of a session with a specialist therapist, now
aims to bridge the gap for those who may be restricted through
lock-down or for whom their local Pieta centre is not yet open due to
Covid. There are currently three Pieta centres available for
‘in-person’ counselling with more to re-open in the coming weeks.

Launching the service in Limerick earlier today, were Pieta Ambassador
and blogger Louise Cooney and Pieta Clinical Manager, Nora Conway.
Speaking about the new initiative Ms Conway said, ‘’We are delighted
to extend our services beyond the crisis help-line and the
face-to-face appointments with these new online video sessions. One of
the key learnings from Covid is the need to expand our services and to
offer a blended approach to our counselling. While the pandemic
accelerated the need for virtual appointments, we also see this very
much as a response to a growing demand in a world that is increasingly
digital. These appointments will be available for those in need of
someone to talk to and who may be reluctant to visit a centre at this
difficult time.”

Louise Cooney said of the new service; “I am delighted to support the
launch of the new video therapy with Pieta. It shows real innovation
in a world that is increasingly online. I know from my own lifestyle
and that of my friends, there are times where online appointments with
face-to-face video interaction are crucial – no matter what the
service, but for Pieta to offer this really shows a commitment to
reaching everyone nationwide who needs to talk.”

Free video counselling will be offered depending on the needs of the
client and following discussions between the client and the Pieta
clinical support team.

Tree of Hope:

Pieta is also marking World Mental Health Day by supporting the
planting of ‘Trees of Hope’ in over 100 locations across the country.
The charity is asking its supporters to get involved by planting
cherry blossoms, which flower in May, as a symbol of hope and
solidarity with those who are struggling with suicidal ideation or who
have been bereaved by suicide. May is the month when Pieta’s Darkness
Into Light walk, proudly supported by Electric Ireland, typically
takes place. Darkness Into Light serves as a much needed fundraiser
for the charity, and is a commemorative event in remembrance of those
who have lost their lives to suicide.

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