Connect extend hours for free over-the-phone confidential counselling for Christmas period
While Christmas is a time joy for most people, for some it is not so festive. The isolation of mental illness can affect those who have suffered even more at Christmas time.
As a result of this, Connect, a telephone counselling and support service, funded by the HSE, will extend its operational hours during the Christmas period.
The service, which provides confidential and professional counselling and support for adults who were abused in childhood, will run every evening from Monday December 17 until Sunday January 6 from 6-10pm.
Service Director Marie Percival said that around the festive period the need for such a service increases and that sufferers should not hesitate to call, if they are in need of assistance.
"Christmas is a particularly sensitive period in terms of public need for the service," she said.
"We want to ensure that we are there for people if they need our support."
The service was established in 2006, following demands for an independent and professional, out of hours telephone based service, from groups representing survivors of institutional abuse.
Those requiring the service can call Connect for free, from Ireland on 1800 477 477, and from Northern Ireland and the UK on 00 800 477 477 77.
Connect’s normal opening hours are 6-10pm Wednesday to Sunday and callers will get the support of a trained counsellor who will listen and provide professional counselling and support.