A SUICIDE and Self-harm Crisis Centre will open under the Pieta House banner here in Castleisland this year.
Plans to open such a centre in Castleisland to serve the Kerry region have been in the pipeline for some time.
The organisation has identified a suitable premises in the town and will now look to obtain planning permission for change of use. A submission will be made to Kerry County Council this month and, once permission is granted, work is expected to begin on the building in April.
Pieta House hopes that the centre will be open in Castleisland before the end of June.
"The people of Kerry have always been so committed to reducing suicide and it's fantastic that they will now have their own Pieta House," said Joan Freeman, founder and CEO of Pieta House. "Many people from Kerry currently travel to our Limerick centre but we're hopeful that the new Castleisland centre will make it easier for people to seek help. We make every attempt to remove all barriers and make the process as simple as possible - that is why our service is free of charge and you do not need a doctor's referral to come to Pieta House," she said.
Joan Freeman visited Castleisland in April 2011 and while here received donations from the Holy Trinity Prayer Group and from Msgr. Dan O'Riordan on behalf of the parish.
2013 will be a year of expansion for Pieta House as the organisation opens new centres in Tuam, Roscrea and Cork (as well as Castleisland, if all goes according to plan) in line with its stated aim of having a Pieta House within 100km of everyone in Ireland.
"We've seen from the success of events such as our Darkness into Light walk in Killarney last May and Nunday in Listowel in June that there is huge support for Pieta House in Kerry," said Joan Freeman. "I hope that this continues for a long time to come as, for the new centre to thrive and grow, the people of Kerry need to take ownership of it and take responsibility for it by supporting us," she said.
For more information on Pieta House, visit www.pieta.ie or call the Limerick centre on (061) 484444.
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 in Limerick.
Four new centres will open in 2013 in Tuam, Roscrea, Cork and Castleisland.
For more information, log on to www.pieta.ie or call 01 601 0000.