Connect counselling available for those impacted by Foster Care Reports

Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

Connect is available to provide free telephone-based counselling to anyone impacted by today’s Foster Care reports.

Connect provides professional telephone based counselling and support to survivors at Freephone 1800 477 477 in the Republic of Ireland and 00800 477 477 77 in Northern Ireland.

Opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday 6-10pm. Further information at www.connectcounselling.ie. Connect is funded by the HSE.

Further Information
Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications: (086) 317 9731.

Connect available for those impacted by Northern Ireland abuse inquiry report

Friday, January 20, 2017. 

Connect is available to provide free telephone-based counselling to anyone – in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland – impacted by today’s report of the inquiry into historical child abuse in Northern Ireland.

Connect provides professional telephone based counselling and support to survivors at freephone 00800 477 477 77 in Northern Ireland and 1800 477 477 from the Republic of Ireland.

Opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday 6-10pm.

Further information at www.connectcounselling.ie. Connect is funded by the HSE in the Republic of Ireland. 

Further Information

Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications: 00353 (0)86 317 9731.

Telephone counselling service to open every day over Christmas

Thursday, December 15, 2016.

Telephone counselling and support service Connect is to extend its hours during Christmas to open every evening from today (Monday, December 19th) until Sunday, January 1st.

Connect is a free, confidential and professional telephone-based counselling and support service for adults who were abused in childhood and will open from 6-10pm throughout the festive period.

People can call Connect for free at 1800 477 477. Callers will get to speak with a trained counsellor who can listen and provide professional counselling and support.

Service Director Theresa Merrigan said that Christmas is a particularly sensitive period in terms of public need for the service.

Connect expects to receive in excess of 8,000 calls this year, which is a 4% growth in overall calls.

From the Northern Ireland and the UK people can call 00800 477 477 77. Connect’s normal opening hours are 6-10pm Wednesday to Sunday.

Connect was established in 2006 following demands from groups representing survivors of institutional abuse that an independent and professional out of hours telephone based service be established. It is funded by the HSE.

More information at www.connectcounselling.ie

Further Information

Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications: (086) 317 9731.

4% increase in calls to Abuse Counselling Service 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Connect Counselling expects a 4% increase in overall calls to the service this year reaching more than 8,000 calls.

The increase comes from a greater number of calls from existing service users as Connect has consolidated its niche position as a provider of professional out of hours phone counselling to abuse survivors.

Connect is open 20 hours a week (6-10pm, Wednesday to Sunday) and the projected number of overall calls for 2016 is 8,078, up from 7,798 in 2015.

Of these calls 4,264 are forecast to be answered, 3,074 to be received out of hours and 739 will be lost. Those who call out of hours are directed on the answering service to call again within hours.

The annual figures highlight an ongoing year on year increase in demand for the Connect service.

Connect Manager Theresa Merrigan said the high volume of calls received out of hours is a challenge faced by the service, but that Connect is manging to meet a specific demand of some people.

“Connect is a necessary and niche service that meets the needs of people who choose anonymous telephone based counselling as a first step towards and face-to-face therapy, or as a preferred longer term approach,” she said.

Connect provides out of hours telephone based professional counselling and support for abuse survivors – and was established in 2006 at the request of survivor groups. It is funded by the HSE and works together with the HSE’s National Counselling Service which is a daytime face to face counselling service.

2016 statistics

The gender of callers in 2016 is on target to be two thirds female and one third male, which is similar to years to date. Ms Merrigan said calls from men and women does not reflect gender balance and she called on a greater number of men to avail of the service, particularly in rural areas.

In 2016 there has also been an increase in younger calls and reduction in older callers.

The most common overall setting for abuse is in the family (48%), followed by the community (34%) and 18% institutional. This is set to represent a slight shift from previous years with 4% more in the community compared to 2015.

Ms. Merrigan said an important message is for people to understand is that the majority of abuse occurs within the family.

“There is an over-emphasised public perception of institutional abuse, compared to in family and community settings, where our service records in excess of 80% of cases. Connect is available for people who have experienced abuse in any setting, not just in institutions,” she said.

Connect is available at freephone 1800 477 477 from the Republic of Ireland and 00800 477 477 77 from Northern Ireland and the UK. Opening times are 6-10pm Wednesday to Sunday with additional hours at times of high service demand.

*NOTE: The 2016 statistics included are projected figures for the year based on 10.5 months to mid-November. This information is released at this time to help publicise the service in advance of Christmas which is a particularly sensitive period in terms of public need for the service. Connect will provide additional opening times during the Christmas period.

Further Information

Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications: (086) 317 9731.

www.connectcounselling.ie

Connect counselling available for those impacted by Salvatorian Priest abuse

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016 

Connect is available to provide free telephone-based counselling to anyone impacted by today’s reports regarding 100 cases of abuse by a Salvatorian priest.

Connect provides professional telephone based counselling and support to survivors of abuse at freephone 1800 477 477 from the Republic of Ireland and 00800 477 477 77 from Northern Ireland and the UK. Opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday 6-10pm. Further information at www.connectcounselling.ie.

Connect is funded by the HSE.

Further Information

Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications: (086) 317 9731.

Connect counselling available for those impacted by foster care concerns

Tuesday, February 2, 2016 

Connect is available this evening to provide free telephone-based counselling to anyone impacted by the public focus on alleged foster care abuse in the south-east.

Connect provides professional telephone based counselling and support to survivors of abuse at freephone 1800 477 477 from the Republic of Ireland and 00800 477 477 77 from Northern Ireland and the UK.

Its normal opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday 6-10pm and it is extending its service to include 6-10pm this evening.

Service Director  Theresa Merrigan said: “Public focus on issues of neglect and trauma awaken distress and upset for people who have been affected and the Connect service is available to support these people.”

Connect is funded by the HSE.

Further Information

www.connectcounselling.ie

Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications: (086) 317 9731.

Connect to open every day over Christmas

Monday, December 21, 2015.

Connect is to extend its hours during Christmas to open every evening from today until Sunday, January 3rd.

Connect is a free and confidential telephone-based counselling and support service for adults who were abused in childhood and will open from 6-10pm throughout the festive period.

People can call Connect for free at 1800 477 477. Callers will get to speak with a professionally trained counsellor who can listen and provide support.

Service Director Theresa Merrigan said that Christmas can be an emotional time for people which creates a greater demand for counselling and support services.

Connect expects to receive 9,000 calls this year including a significant growth in new callers.

From the Northern Ireland and the UK people can call 00800 477 477 77. Connect’s normal opening hours are 6-10pm Wednesday to Sunday.

Connect was established in 2006 following demands from groups representing survivors of institutional abuse that an independent and professional out of hours telephone based service be established. It is funded by the HSE.

More information at www.connectcounselling.ie

Further Information

Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications: (086) 317 9731

www.connectcounselling.ie

54% of callers to Abuse Counselling Service reach out for first time

Monday, December 14, 2015

Connect Counselling service expects to receive 9,000 calls this year, with 54% calling the service for the first time.

Connect said it is currently seeing a growth in the numbers of individual callers to the service, including new callers.

Service Director Theresa Merrigan said she believes that the increases are due to Connect being better known and also its anonymous nature which is comforting to people who are beginning to speak of childhood abuse, but not yet ready to attend face to face counselling.

Over the past three years there has been a 42% increase in the number of individual callers to Connect, a 17% increase from 2013 to 2014 and a 25% increase from 2014 to the year to date.

The overall number of calls for 2015 will remain similar to other years, as the increases in individual and new callers are offset by a reduction in long term and repeat callers who are moving earlier to face to face counselling and other services.

Connect provides out of hours telephone based professional counselling and support for abuse survivors – and was established in 2006 at the request of survivor groups.

Theresa Merrigan said: “For many people who have suffered childhood abuse beginning to speak of those experiences can bring feelings of shame, embarrassment, guilt and fear of judgement.”

“The Connect Service, for many, can be a safe port to begin to put words on traumatic childhood experiences where the caller, who initiates the contact, can remain anonymous while at the same time receiving support from a professionally experienced psychotherapist.”

“Also many callers can find it difficult to get to a face to face counselling service because of geographical location, child care, lack of transport, or physical and emotional challenges. The telephone service can be an excellent resource for people in these circumstances.”

2015 statistics

Total calls for 2015 to the end of November are 8,113, with 4,944 answered.  2,460 were made when the service was closed and 709 were lost.

The most common overall setting for abuse was in the family (48%) followed by the community (31%) and 15% were institutional. However, in the caller age group over 50 up to 23% of callers spoke of institutional abuse.

In terms of the family abuse – 24% reported abuse by father, of which 12.5% was sexual abuse; 21% reported abuse by mother, predominantly emotional and physical abuse; 11% reported abuse by brother, 10% of which was sexual abuse.

Emotional abuse was the most common type of abuse reported at 58%, followed by sexual (55%), physical (30%) and neglect (15%).

The gender of callers was 64% female, 35.5% male and 0.5% transgender. 7% of callers were aged under 30, 41% between 31 and 50, 20.5% between 51 and 60 and 14% were over 60.

23% of callers spoke of feelings of low mood and depression with 10% reporting alcohol dependence. Up to 20% reported feelings of high anxiety.

The service received calls from all 26 counties across Ireland with approximately 2% of calls from the UK and Northern Ireland.

Connect is available at freephone 1800 477 477 from the Republic of Ireland and 00800 477 477 77 from Northern Ireland and the UK. Opening times are 6-10pm Wednesday to Sunday with additional hours at times of high service demand. The service is HSE funded.

Further Information

Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications: (086) 317 9731.

Information event: Supports for survivors of institutional abuse

Tuesday, October 6th 2015

Caranua will host an event on Saturday 21st November in London that will provide information on support services available in Ireland and the UK for survivors of Irish institutional abuse.

Organisations based in both Ireland and the UK will have information stands at the event.

This is not a conference, and will not have speakers, but will instead provide an opportunity for people to move between information stands to pick up information leaflets and ask questions.

There is no entry fee, and you can come at any time from 10.30am, until the event closes at 2pm.

A list of the participating organisations will be updated on the Caranua website, www.caranua.ie,  or call freephone 0044 (0)808 234 1303.

Time & Date: 10.30am – 2pmSaturday 21st November 2015

Venue: Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel, 9-13 Bloomsbury St, London

Please pass this information onto anyone who might be interested!

Connect available for those distressed by latest Child Protection Reports

Connect available for those distressed by latest Child Protection Reports

Connect is available to provide free telephone-based counselling to anyone distressed by today’s publication of the latest tranche of National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) reports.

Connect provides free professional telephone based counselling and support to abuse survivors at:

  • 1800 477 477 from the Republic of Ireland
  • 00800 477 477 77 from Northern Ireland and the UK
  • Opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday 6-10pm.

Further information at www.connectcounselling.ie

 Further Information

Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications: (086) 317 9731.

54% of callers to Connect counselling report being sexually abused in childhood

54% of callers to Connect counselling during the first six months of 2015 reported being sexually abused in childhood.

Connect answered 2,565 calls during the first six months of 2015, which is a similar level to recent years. However, 360 calls made during opening hours were unanswered due to resource pressure.

63% of callers reported emotional abuse and 31% talked about physical abuse. 17% specifically spoke of neglect in childhood.

60% of callers said that their abusive experiences took place in the family home with 13% reporting being abused by their father, 9% by their mother, 5% by a brother and 14% of callers reported multiple abusers.

24% of callers spoke about abuse in institutional settings. 42% of these callers did not reveal who their abuser was, but of those who did 25% spoke of clerical abuse and 17% of abuse within convent settings.

31% of callers availed of repeat support calls, of on average up to four calls. 5% of callers said they had never spoken about abuse in childhood prior to calling Connect.

34% of callers to the end of June in 2015 were men, 64% women and 2% transgender.

Connect provides professional telephone based counselling and support at freephone 1800 477 477 from the Republic of Ireland and 00800 477 477 77 from Northern Ireland and the UK.

It is an out of hours telephone based counselling service for abuse survivors which opens from 6-10pm from Wednesday to Sunday.

Connect was established in 2006 following demands from survivors of institutional abuse that an independent and professional out of hours telephone based counselling and support service be established.

Connect Service Manager Theresa Merrigan said that many callers to the service, despite reporting sexual, emotional and physical abuse did not see neglect as necessarily an abusive experience.

“Our psychotherapists are often surprised to hear callers speak of deprivation and neglect in childhood in a minimising way. It is as if it has not occurred to them that childhood neglect is an abusive experience.”

“Connect helps people to find supports in adult life when childhood memories begin to overwhelm in a way that affects everyday life. Callers speak of low mood, depression, sadness, anger and low self-esteem. Many present with addiction issues, relationship problems, parenting issues and feelings of helplessness, confusion and hopelessness.”

“Some callers have longstanding mental issues with long histories of psychiatric care. The Connect service also supports people who are on waiting lists for face to face counselling with the National Counselling Service and other services,” she said.

The service is keen to raise public awareness that family members of childhood abuse survivors are also supported by Connect counsellors. In the year to date, 15% of callers to the line were family members.

Connect is a Freephone service from within Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK. 35% of callers were from Dublin, 11% from Cork, 8% from Galway and 5% from Laois. Calls were received from all counties in Ireland.

The age profile of callers was: Under 30 – 13%; 31 to 50 – 46%; Over 50 – 36% with 12% of this group over 60. The high number of callers under the age of 50 (59%) indicates recent experiences of abuse.

Callers hear about Connect from a number of referral pathways including the National Counselling Service (23%), The Samaritans (23%), media and newspapers (12%) and their GP (4%). Callers are also signposted by Survivor support services and other charitable organisations such as Aware and Console.

More on Connect at www.connectcounselling.ie

Further Information
Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications: (086) 317 9731.