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Jan 10, 2020

Pieta House: How we Helped in 2019

Since we first opened our doors in 2006, Pieta House has helped nearly 60,000 people. From our small one room office in Dublin, we have now grown to more than 270 staff members and provide our life saving services out of 15 centres and 4 outreaches across Ireland.

In 2019, Pieta House supported 8,048 Irish men, women, and children by delivering free and freely accessible professional crisis and bereavement counselling. These brave clients are people struggling with thoughts of suicide, who are self-harming, or who have lost a loved one to suicide.

Of the 8,048 clients who we supported last year, 27% had had a previous suicide attempt and 50% were at high risk of attempting suicide.

Our 24/7 Crisis Helpline manned by fully quilified therapists, fielded 13,705 phone calls from people in active crisis, concerned about a loved one, or who were bereaved by suicide. Corresponding with our growth in under 18 clients, our helpline responded to 31,139 text messages.

In 2019, of the 8,048 clients we supported, 30% of them were children under the age of 18. The largest demographic of clients accessing Pieta House were girls under the age of 18.

Though we are proud to have grown our services and supported an additional 1,000 clients in 2019, it is clear from this growth that there is much work still to be done in 2020.

In 2020 we are working to expand out under 18 counselling, to increase outreach offices in rural and hard to access locations, and work with statutory agencies to expand programme development.

Oct 8, 2019

Replacing Reasons for Dying w/ Reasons for Living

Pieta House exists because we believe that no one should feel so alone or so afraid that self-harm or suicide becomes an option they chose. We provide free and freely accessible professional therapy to those struggling with thoughts of suicide, who are self-harming, or who are bereaved by a suicide. Pieta House has supported nearly 48,000 people since we opened our doors in 2006. In collaboration with the Government, the HSE, local communities and non-statutory organisations like Pieta House, we work to combat stigma and prevent suicide on a national level. Despite our cooperative approach, suicide claims the lives of roughly 400 Irish men, women, and children every year. Additionally, Ireland has one of the highest rates of suicide for children under the age of 18. In 2018 alone, of our nearly 7,400 clients, 2,427 were children. Stigma and shame around suicide and mental health makes asking for help difficult for many in crisis.

The three pillars of the Pieta House model are prevention, intervention, and post vention. Pieta House works to combat the stigma around mental health and prevent deaths by suicide through advocacy campaigns and dialogue building initiatives. In tandem with our prevention pillar, we serve those in crisis or who have been bereaved by suicide with intervention and bereavement therapy. We offer therapy out of our 19 locations across the country, placed with a particular focus on disadvantaged and isolated communities. Our dedicated Suicide Bereavement Liaison Service is available across 12 regions and represents considerable growth made to support previously unserved CHO areas. In addition, our free call 24/7 helpline and text services are accessible to everyone in Ireland. Our therapy works to replace reasons for dying with reasons for living, self-harm with self-love, and to move people from a place of despair to a place of hope.

An aspect that makes Pieta House unique, is that it operates in non-institutional community settings. Additionally, our services are open to clients of all ages and backgrounds and provided free of charge, without the need for medical referral or prior psychiatric evaluation. For some prospective clients, significant courage is needed to ask for help and our job is to meet that courage with frictionless access to our services. The Pieta Way approach addresses many of the recognized barriers in accessing mental health services. All of our services are provided by therapists accredited with the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Our work is aligned with the strategic objectives set out in Connecting for Life and we work in conjunction with statutory, non-statutory and community partners to ensure an integrated and holistic approach to client care is undertaken.

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Jul 1, 2019

Help us Save a Life a Day

In Ireland last year, over 365 lives were lost to suicide. That's more than a life a day. Will you help us reduce that number - one day at a time?

In June of this year Pieta House launched our centre in Galway City.

In 2006, Pieta House opened its doors in Lucan, County Dublin and since that day we have seen and helped over 40,000 people in suicidal distress or engaging in self-harm, and established 15 subsequent centres across Ireland.

From humble beginnings, Pieta House has grown to almost 270 therapists and administration staff, and the demand for our service hasn’t let up. In 2017 alone, over 7,000 people came through our doors suffering from suicidal ideation and/or engaging in self-harm, or to avail of suicide bereavement counselling.

As it has been from day one, everything is free of charge and our staff are fully qualified and provide a professional one-to-one therapeutic service for people who are experiencing suicidal ideation, people who have attempted suicide and people who are engaging in self-harm. A doctor’s referral or a psychiatric report is not required.

To support the people of Ireland, Pieta House runs a national free 24/7 Helpline manned by theraposts, an Suicide Bereavement Liasion Service for recently bereaved communities, a Bereavement service to dispense therapy to families and friends who have lost a loved on to suicide, and finally, in intervention service to provide those in suicide and self-harming crisis with the tools they need to turn from despair to hope.

In Quarter 1 of 2019 (January 1 through March 31) Pieta House answered 4,458 phone calls and 18,843 text messages from people contimplating suicide, engaging in self harm, or concerned about a loved one. Of the 4,458 calls there were 2,436 unique callers of which nearly 60% were female. This helpline is free of charged and manned by fully qualified therapists who can dispense therapy over the phone. They also signpost to regional services and link in at-risk callers with Pieta House centres near them.

In the first three months of 2019, our SBLO officers supported 102 people who were very recently bereaved by a suicide. Of these 102 people, 77 were within 3 months of the death,SBLO officers are unique in that they offer immediate support after a death by suicide such as helping arrange the funeral, communicating with the police, and informing work and school. This key time is crucial in stopping suicide clusters and supporting this vulnerable group. If, after the immediatie grief period, the family wants beravement therapy, the SBLO will link them in with a Pieta House location near to them

Pieta House supported 263 people in Quarter 1 with bereavement therapy. These are the friends, family, and communities who had lost a loved one to suicide. Bereavement therapy supports this group through a vulnerable stage of grief and provide them with life-saving coping skills. Our centre in Cork had the largest number of bereavement clients this quarter.

Last but not least, Pieta House provided life saving crisis counselling to 2,533 clients from January to March. Illustrating a dire trend we have seen over recent years, the majority of these clients were under the age of 18. Of that 2,533, 35% were classified as high risk for suicide at their assessments.

These statistics represent real people in Ireland who find life-saving care with Pieta House. These brave mena and women take the courageous step to ask for help, and we here at Pieta are so honoured to be their place of safety and healing. 

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