Additional opening time for those impacted by Mother and Baby Homes redress deferral

Tuesday, April 11, 2017.

Connect counselling is offering additional opening hours for people impacted by the decision to defer redress for people affected by the Mother and Baby Homes scandal.

Connect provides free telephone-based counselling to support people who are in distress following abuse.

Connect will open for additional hours tonight (April 11, 2017) from 6-11pm. Normal opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday 6-10pm.

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

Further information at www.connectcounselling.ie. Connect is funded by the HSE.

Further Information

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

Connect to open additional hours following RTE Would You Believe

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Connect will open for additional hours on Sunday, March 19 (2017) following the broadcast of the RTE Would You Believe programme on how Catherine Corless uncovered the Tuam Babies scandal.

The programme will be broadcast from 10.40-11.10pm on Sunday, March 19th and RTE has kindly agreed to give out Connect’s contact details at the end of the programme.

Connect normally closes at 10pm, but will remain open until approximately midnight to support viewers who are distressed.

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.

Further Information

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

Connect offers additional opening times for those impacted by Foster Care Investigation

Tuesday, March 7, 2017. 

Connect counselling is offering additional opening hours for people impacted by ongoing public focus on establishing a Commission of Investigation into foster care in the South-East.

Connect provides free telephone-based counselling.

Normal opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday 6-10pm. However, Connect will also open tonight from 6-10pm and lines remained open until midnight over the weekend.

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

Connect Manager Theresa Merrigan said: “There has been a high level of public focus on the Foster Care reports and setting terms of reference for the investigation. These times can awaken great distress and upset for people who have been affected and the Connect service is available to support them.”

Further information at www.connectcounselling.ie. Connect is funded by the HSE. 

Further Information

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

Connect to open additional hours following Mother and Baby Homes Commission Statement

Friday, March 3, 2017

Connect is available to provide free telephone-based counselling to anyone impacted by today’s Commission of Investigation Statement regarding a significant number of baby remains in Tuam.

The service will open for additional hours this weekend following the announcement. Normal opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday 6-10pm. During the coming days Connect’s opening times will be:

  • Friday 3rd March to Sunday 5th March, 5pm-12midnight
  • Monday 6th March to Sunday 12th March, 6-10pm

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.

Connect Manager Theresa Merrigan said: “Times of public focus on neglect, abuse and trauma can awaken great distress and upset for people who have been affected and the Connect service is available to support these people.”

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 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 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.

Connect counselling available for those impacted by focus on Brendan Smyth abuse

Connect is available this week to provide free telephone-based counselling to anyone impacted by the focus of the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry in Northern Ireland on the high volume of child abuse crimes committed by Brendan Smyth.

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 opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday 6-10pm. However, due to the expected focus of the Inquiry on Brendan Smyth this week, Connect will also open this evening (Monday) and tomorrow evening (Tuesday) from 6-10pm.

Connect Manager Theresa Merrigan said: “Times of public focus on abuse, neglect and trauma often bring back to the surface intense feelings of distress and upset for people who have been affected. Connect is a professional service to support these people.”

Connect is funded by the HSE.

Further Information

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

Connect counselling available for those distressed by 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

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

Connect counselling available for those impacted by Mother and Babies announcement

Connect is available this evening and over the weekend to provide free telephone-based counselling to anyone impacted by today’s announcement regarding Mother and Baby homes.

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 opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday 6-10pm.

Connect Manager Theresa Merrigan said: “Times of public focus on neglect and trauma awakens distress and upset for people who have been affected and the Connect service is available to support these people.”

Further information at Connect’s new website at www.connectcounselling.ie. Connect is funded by the HSE.

 

Further Information

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

Telephone counselling service open during Christmas

Telephone counselling service to open every day during Christmas

Telephone counselling and support sevice Connect is to extend its hours during Christmas to open every evening from today until Sunday, January 4th.

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 each day.

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.

Connect Manager Theresa Merrigan said that Christmas can be an emotional time for people and this creates a greater demand for counselling and support services.

Connect has recorded a 22% increase in individual callers to the service to date in 2014, and expects to receive approximately 10,000 calls by the end of the year.

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.

More information is available at www.connectcounselling.ie.

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.

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

22% increase in caller demand

22% increase in caller demand for Telephone Counselling Service in 2014

Telephone counselling service Connect has reported a 22% increase in individual callers receiving support from the service to date this year.

Connect has supported 470 individual callers between January and November through its out of hours service which operates for 20 hours per week.

The service reported that up to 54% of callers described an experience of sexual abuse in the year to date, a 3% increase on the same period last year.

The overall number of calls received to the service (calls inside and outside of opening hours) in 2014 is in line with previous years and expected to reach over 10,000 by year end.

Connect‘s Counsellors expect to answer a greater percentage of calls during opening hours this year reaching 85% answered, compared to 80% in 2013. However, it remains concerning that 31% of calls come into service when it is closed and are unanswered.

Connect is an out of hours telephone based counselling service for abuse survivors and opens from 6-10pm from Wednesday to Sunday. It 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 Manager Theresa Merrigan said the 2014 figures reflect a continuing year on year growth in demand – and an increasing pressure to meet that demand within the time constaints of the 20 hours per week which Connect is funded for.

“In 2014 there has been a high number of new callers which has placed a pressure on staff to find other services for callers as there is a concern around Connect’s ability to provide intensive ongoing support to such a high number of individual callers. Most callers are in need of intensive support, and while Connect can support people through crisis, our goal is to provide initial support and then direct people towards face to face services where they can receive the support of multi-disciplinary teams.”

Ms. Merrigan said that an increasing number of callers talk about multiple experiences of abuse and neglect: “Many report emotional and physical abuse in familial contexts where they were abused by multiple family members. Such experiences in childhood lead to emotional difficulties in adult life which vary from depression to self harm and suicidal thoughts.”

The most common setting for abuse to have happened to callers in 2014 to date is in the family at 45.5%, followed by the community at 27.5%. Institutional abuse accounted for 16% of calls, though this figure rose at times of public focus on institutional abuse, accounting for 23% of calls at the announcement of the Mother & Baby Home Inquiry in June and July. To meet additional demand at this time, Connect extended its opening hours to seven nights a week for a six week period.

61% of callers have been female and 39% were male, which represents a 4% increase in men availing of support. In Cavan, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford the gender divide was either equal, or in favour of men.

A high proportion of calls are from Dublin, Cork, Galway and the commuter counties around Dublin. “We would encourage more callers from rural areas, particularly the Western seaboard counties,” Ms. Merrigan said.

During 2014 Connect also received calls from Northern Ireland and Britain. Calls from the UK account for 3% of calls in the year to date, similar to 2013 and up from 1.5% in 2011. “We would still like this figure to be higher as many abuse survivors now live in the UK,” she added.

Of callers who reported abuse within families 23% said that it was perpetrated by the father, 12% brother, 15.5% mother and father and 20% mother. Of those who reported abuse perpetrated by their mother, 51% reported physical abuse, 20% sexual abuse and 88% emotional abuse.

Callers who seek support from Connect cover all age categories with 9% 18-30; 40.5% 31-50; 21% 51-60 and 15.5% over 60.

Connect is available Wednesday to Sunday from 6-10pm at 1800 477 477 in the Republic of Ireland and 0800 477 477 77 from the UK.

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

 

Connect counselling available for those impacted by Child Protection Report

Connect counselling available for those impacted by Child Protection Reports

Connect is available to provide free telephone-based counselling to anyone impacted by the 18 National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) reports published today.

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.

Connect Manager Theresa Merrigan said: “Times of public focus on abuse can awaken distress and upset for people who have been affected and the Connect service is available to support these people.”

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 Historical Abuse Inquiry

Connect counselling available for those impacted by Historical Abuse Inquiry

Connect is available to provide free telephone-based counselling to anyone impacted by announcements regarding the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland.

The Inquiry has announced details that this week it is to commence the next stage of its work with investigations into the former De La Salle Boys’ Home at Rubane House, Kircubbin, Co. Down.

Connect provides professional telephone based counselling and support to survivors of abuse at freephone 00800 477 477 77 from Northern Ireland and the UK. It is also available at 1800 477 477 from the Republic of Ireland. Connect is free from all UK landlines and most mobiles.

Connect’s lines are open from 6-10pm Wednesday to Sunday for Irish abuse survivors who now live in Northern Ireland or the UK. 

Connect Manager Theresa Merrigan said times of public focus on child abuse can awaken distress and upset for people who have been affected and the Connect service is available to support these people.

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

Family the most common setting for abuse

Family the most common setting for abuse

Abuse within the family continues to be the most prevalent setting for abuse to occur, according to half yearly figures from Connect counselling.

Connect, which is an out of hours telephone service for abuse survivors, answered 2,600 calls in the first half of the year and almost 70% of callers reported physical, sexual or emotional abuse.

Of these 45% of callers reported that the abuse happened within the family home. 26% reported that they had experienced abuse in their community and 15% reported abuse in Institutions.

Connect Service Manager Theresa Merrigan said Connect’s service figures go against the common perception that abuse in Ireland has been largely an institutional problem. The figures highlight a higher prevalence in the family setting, particularly relating to abuse which has occurred more recently.

Connect is a free service established in 2006 at the request of survivor groups and opens from 6-10pm Wednesday to Sunday.

Overall the service received 4,435 calls in the six months to June which was a similar level to last year. Connect’s Counsellors and Psychotherapists answered approximately 86% of calls received during opening hours, a 6% increase compared to the same period in 2013.

71% of callers were aged under 50. 28% of callers were under 40 years and the majority of these reported abuse within the family home. None of the callers under 40 reported institutional abuse.

32% of calls were from men, 66% from women and 2% transgender.

Regionally there was a broad reach across the country with male callers from rural areas increasing and in some instances surpassing female callers. For instance in Cavan, Kilkenny, Longford, Meath, Westmeath, Offaly, Waterford, Sligo and Wexford the ratio of male to female callers was approximately 2:1.

These callers often reported being isolated and unable, or unwilling to access face to face services and stated a preference for telephone based support.

The announcement of the Mother and Baby Home Inquiry, and subsequent expansion of the Connect service to open seven days a week from mid June to the end of July, has resulted in more calls from family members of people who spent time in institutions. Statistics will be released at the end of the summer in relation to service uptake during this period.

Connect Service Manager Theresa Merrigan said that many callers who contact Connect have exhausted services elsewhere.

“The high level of need amongst many callers to Connect points to a lack of intense psychotherapy places for callers with severe childhood trauma. Very often the challenging behaviour of people who have suffered severe childhood trauma means that they find it difficult to access adequate services. 

“This is an ongoing concern for the Connect Service which is telephone based and therefore unable to provide callers with all the supports that they need. It can be difficult to know where to signpost such callers to as they often have difficult relationships with their local mental health team or psychiatrist.”

Connect is available at freephone 1800 477 477 from the Republic of Ireland and00800 477 477 77 from Northern Ireland and the UK. Further information is at www.connectcounselling.ie. Connect is HSE funded.

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

Telephone counselling service to expand opening hours for six weeks

Connect counselling today announced that it is to expand its opening hours for the next six weeks, opening seven days a week.

Connect will be open from 6-10pm each evening to provide free telephone-based counselling to survivors of abuse, trauma or neglect at institutions in Ireland.

The service normally opens Wednesday to Sunday, but is expanding until the end of July in response to recent public attention on the Tuam Babies revelations and subsequent Mother and Baby Homes Inquiry.

Connect provides professional counselling and support to adults who experienced abuse, trauma and neglect in childhood at freephone 1800 477 477 from the Republic of Ireland and 00800 477 477 77 from Northern Ireland and the UK.

Connect Manager Theresa Merrigan said: “As a service that supports people who were affected by traumatic experiences in Industrial Schools, the Laundries and Mother and Baby Homes we anticipate extra need at this time.”

Further information at www.connectcounselling.ie. Connect is funded by the HSE.

The HSE National Counselling Service is also available to assist those affected. The National Counselling Service is a professional, confidential counselling and psychotherapy service available free of charge in all HSE regions for adults who have experienced trauma and abuse in childhood with priority given to adult survivors of institutional abuse.

Those seeking information can call the HSE National Information Line, locall 1850 24 1850 Monday to Friday from 9am to 5 pm. Callers to the HSE National Information line will be connected to a local service.

Finally, those seeking adoption information and tracing information may wish to visit the following sites:

· Túsla (the Child and Family Agency) – www.tusla.ie

· The Adoption Authority of Ireland – www.aai.gov.ie.

Further Information

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

Connect counselling available for those impacted by Tuam Babies Investigation

Connect is available to provide free telephone-based counselling to anyone impacted by the investigation into a mass baby grave in Tuam.

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 opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday 6-10pm.

Connect Manager Theresa Merrigan said: “Times of public focus on neglect and trauma awakens distress and upset for people who have been affected and the Connect service is available to support these people.”

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 Child Protection Reports

Connect is available to provide free telephone-based counselling to anyone impacted by the nine National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCC) reports published today.

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 opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday 6-10pm.

Connect Manager Theresa Merrigan said: “Times of public focus on clerical abuse can awaken distress and upset for people who have been affected and the Connect service is available to support these people.”

Further information at www.connectcounselling.ie. Connect is funded by the HSE.

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

Connect greatly saddened by untimely death of Christine Buckley

Connect to open additional hours this evening following death of Christine Buckley

It was with great shock and sadness that the Board and Staff of Connect heard the news of the sudden and untimely death of our esteemed and valuable board member, Christine Buckley.

Christine served on the board of Connect for the last eight years. Her insights as a survivor of institutional abuse were key to the development of Connect’s telephone counselling and support services.

In a statement the Board of Connect said: “Christine’s passion, energy and tireless work on behalf of survivors of Ireland’s sad history of institutional abuse of thousands of children will be remembered by all who encountered her.

“We wish to pass on our condolences to her family and all her friends and colleagues, particularly those in the Aislinn Centre which she co-founded.”

To mark Christine Buckley’s passing, and to provide support to those distressed at this sad news, Connect will open provide additional opening hours this evening from 6-10pm.

Connect is available to provide 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.

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

Connect counselling available for those impacted by launch of Inquiry

Connect is available to provide free telephone-based counselling to anyone impacted by today’s launch of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland.

Connect provides professional telephone based counselling and support to survivors of abuse at freephone 00800 477 477 77 from Northern Ireland and the UK and1800 477 477 from the Republic of Ireland.

Connect’s lines are open from 6-10pm Wednesday to Sunday for adults who experienced family, institutional or clerical abuse in Ireland. It is also available for Irish abuse survivors who live in Northern Ireland or the UK. Connect is free from all UK landlines and most mobiles.

Connect Manager Theresa Merrigan said times of public focus on child abuse can awaken distress and upset for people who have been affected and the Connect service is available to support these people.

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

Telephone counselling service to open every day during Christmas

Telephone counselling and support sevice Connect is to extend its hours during Christmas to open every evening until Sunday, January 5th.

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 every day.

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.

Connect Manager Theresa Merrigan said that Christmas can be an emotional time for people and this creates a greater demand for counselling and support services.

Connect recorded a 12% increase in calls received during opening hours in 2013, receiving approximately 8,300 calls compared to 7,376 last year.

Connect’s normal opening hours are 6-10pm Wednesday to Sunday. More information at available at www.connectcounselling.ie.

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.

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

Connect available for those impacted by Child Protection Reports

Connect is available to provide free telephone-based counselling to anyone impacted by the Child Protection Reports published today.

The service will open for additional hours this evening from 6-10pm to provide support and counselling to those affected. Connect’s normal opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday 6-10pm. 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.

The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCC) today published findings of audits into child protection practises in eight Church institutions including: The archdioceses of Armagh and Cashel; the dioceses of Down & Connor, Achonry, Kerry and Ossory; and the Christian Brothers and St Patrick’s Missionary Society, Kiltegan, Co Wicklow.

Connect Manager Theresa Merrigan said times of public focus on clerical abuse can awaken distress and upset for people who have been affected and the Connect service is available to support these people.

Connect was established at the request of survivor groups to provide an out-of-hours service for people who have suffered abuse.
Connect is funded by the HSE.

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

12% increase in calls to Telephone Counselling Service

Telephone counselling service Connect expects a 12% increase in calls received during opening hours in 2013, receiving approximately 8,300 calls compared to 7,376 last year.

Connect counsellors also expect to answer a greater % of calls during opening hours this year with 80% answered compared to 75% in 2012.

The overall number of calls received (calls inside and outside of opening hours) in 2013 is in line to be just over 11,000, which is similar to 2011 and 2012.

The 2013 figures are based upon the number of calls which Connect has received so far this year continuing at a similar level to the end of December and reflects the continuing year on year growth in demand for the service.

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

Connect Manager Theresa Merrigan said the 2013 figures show continued growth in demand for the service and an improvement in the rate of calls answered. However, she expressed concern about the number of calls that the service does not have the capacity to answer.

“The 2013 figures show that the service has challenges with capacity. 20% of overall calls are received when the service is closed and 20% of calls received during opening hours are not answered due to staff capacity.

Ms. Merrigan said that an increasing number of callers to Connect talk about isolation.

“Caller presentations are becoming more complex as people fall out of the net around other services available. Many callers present with psychiatric histories and are not availing of other professional or community support. Isolation is one of the key issues that callers talk about,” she said.

The most common setting for abuse to have happened to callers (during the period from October 2012 – September 2013) was in the family at 40%, followed by the community at 26%. Institutional abuse accounted for 16% of calls, though this figure rose at times of public focus on institutional abuse, accounting for 22% of calls at the period of the Magdalene Report in early 2013.

Callers were 64% female, 35.5% male and .5% transgender. This represents a welcome increase in the number of men contacting Connect as the gender breakdown was up to 80% female in previous years.

During 2013 Connect has received calls from all counties in the Republic as well as from and Northern Ireland and Britain.

“Calls from the UK accounted for 3% of calls during the October 2012 – September 2013 period, up from 1.5% in 2011. We would like this figure to be higher as many abuse survivors now live in the UK.

“In the Republic a high proportion of callers are from Dublin, Cork, Galway and the commuter counties around Dublin. We would encourage more callers from rural areas, particularly from the Western seaboard counties,” Ms. Merrigan said.

In terms of type of abuse 51% of callers reported sexual abuse. Of callers who reported abuse within families 27% said that it was perpetrated by the brother, 25% father, 10% uncle and 7% grandfather. 17% of institutional survivors, who contacted the service, reported an experience of sexual abuse.

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

The service is available Wednesday to Sunday from 6-10pm at 1800 477 477 and from the UK at 0800 477 477 77.

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

Connect counselling available following Glin reconciliation mass

Telephone-based counselling and support service Connect is available for anyone distressed following the Glin Industrial School reconciliation mass at the weekend.

Connect is a free service, set up specifically for people who have suffered abuse, and is open from 6-10pm Wednesday to Sunday each week at freephone 1800 477 477.

Connect Manager Theresa Merrigan said: “Events such as the reconciliation mass for the former pupils of St. Joseph’s Industrial School in Glin can be a very difficult time for people who have suffered abuse and painful emotions can come to the surface.

“Connect is available, free of charge, for anyone who would like support from a professional counsellor.”

Connect was established at the request of survivor groups to provide an out-of-hours phone counselling and support service to people who have suffered abuse. It is funded by the HSE.

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

Connect Counselling available following announcement of Magdalene redress fund

Telephone-based counselling and support service Connect is available for anyone distressed by today’s announcement of the redress fund for Magdalene Laundry survivors.

The free service will open for additional hours this evening from 6pm to midnight. Connect will also be open from 6-10pm each evening for the rest of the week.

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

Connect was established at the request of survivor groups to provide an out-of-hours phone counselling and support service to people who have suffered abuse. The service is funded by the HSE.

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

Connect available for those distressed following Magdalene Apology

Telephone-based counselling and support service Connect is available for anyone distressed following this evenings State apology on the Magdalene Laundries.

The free service will open for additional hours this evening from 8pm to midnight. Connect will also be open from 6-12pm tomorrow and then 6-10pm each evening for the rest of the week.

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

Connect Manager Theresa Merrigan said: “A time like this can be very upsetting for people who have suffered abuse and painful emotions can come to the surface. We will be available for anyone who would like support from a professional counsellor.”

Connect was established at the request of survivor groups to provide an out-of-hours phone counselling and support service to people who have suffered abuse. The service is funded by the HSE.

Further information at www.connectcounselling.ie.

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

Connect counselling available for those distressed by Magdalene Report

Telephone-based counselling and support service Connect is available for anyone distressed by today’s launch of the Report into State interaction with the Magdalene Laundries.

The free service will open for additional hours this evening from 5.30pm to midnight. Connect will also be open from 6-10pm each evening for the rest of the week.

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

Connect Manager Theresa Merrigan said: “The launch of a report such as this can be a very difficult time for people who have suffered abuse and painful emotions can come to the surface. We will be available for anyone who would like support from a professional Counsellor.”

Connect was established at the request of survivor groups to provide an out-of-hours phone counselling and support service to people who have suffered abuse. The service is funded by the HSE.

Further information at www.connectcounselling.ie.

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

Free counselling service to open every day over Christmas

Telephone counselling and support sevice Connect is to extend its hours over Christmas to open every evening until Sunday January 6th.

Connect is a free and confidential telephone-based counselling and support service for adults who were abused in childhood and will be open from 6-10pm each day.

People can call Connect for free at 1800 477 477. From the UK people can call00800 477 477 77. Callers will get to speak with a professionally trained counsellor who can listen and provide support.

Connect Manager Theresa Merrigan said that Christmas can be an emotional time for people and this creates a greater demand for counselling and support services.

More information at www.connectcounselling.ie. Connect is an out of hours professional service funded by the HSE and normally opens from Wednesday to Sunday.

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

Connect Counselling available for those distressed by Child Protection Audits

Connect is available to provide free telephone-based counselling and support to anyone distressed by the Child Protection Audits published today.

The National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCC) today published findings of audits into child protection practises in four dioceses and three religious orders.

The service will be available this evening, and over the weekend, to provide support and counselling. Connect’s opening hours are 6-10pm, Wednesday to Sunday.

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.

Connect was established at the request of survivor groups to provide an out-of-hours phone counselling and support service to people who have suffered abuse.

Connect is funded by the HSE.

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

22% increase in calls to Telephone Counselling Service

Monday June 11th, 2012

A Third of Counselling Calls from Abuse Survivors

Telephone counselling service Connect recorded a 22% increase in calls during 2011 receiving a total of 10,384 calls.

The growth in demand for Connect’s service continues the pattern from previous years when there was an average of 30% year on year growth during its first four full years of service (2007-2010). There have been a total of 42,183 calls made to Connect since it began in 2006.

In November and December of 2011 calls from survivors of institutional abuse peaked at 32% and 34% respectively, which is linked to publication of church abuse reports during these months.

80%, of calls during 2011 were from women with 50% of callers aged 31-40. Of callers who reported diagnosed mental illness 70% said they suffered from depression. Others identified themselves as having self-harmed, suicidal thoughts, eating disorder(s) and relationship difficulties.

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

Connect is a free service and is funded by the HSE. It is also available to abuse survivors now living in the UK.

Connect Manager Theresa Merrigan welcomed the continued growth of the service in the Republic of Ireland and called on more men to make use of the service.

Connect to Target Irish Community in the UK

She also highlighted the need to make more people aware of the service in Northern Ireland and Britain.

“The annual average number of callers to Connect from the UK represents only 2% of calls to the service. Approximately 80% of these calls are from family members of former residents of institutions.”

“Research* suggests that the majority of survivors live in Ireland (58%) with a sizeable minority (37%) in the UK and the balance in other parts of the world. We therefore need to grow the number of callers from the UK to support Irish abuse survivors who live there. This is a priority for Connect in 2012.”

Up to 90% of calls to Connect are repeat calls of people who decide to avail of on-going support for a period of time while they await face to face counselling, or deal with a particular issue in their life.

At times of abuse report publications, or television programmes which highlight abuse issues, there is up to a 100% increase in first time callers many of whom give first time disclosures of abuse.

At these times Connect extends its hours of service to provide additional support to people distressed or affected by media attention. These callers very often become regular callers for a period while they either await face-to-face counselling or other supports.

Connect is available Wednesday to Sunday from 6-10pm at 1800 477 477 and from the UK at 0800 477 477 77.

In 2010 Connect became the first Irish service to receive the UK based Helplines Association Quality Standard mark.

Further Information

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

NOTE TO EDITORS

* Developing a Profile of Survivors of Abuse in Irish Religious Institutions. A Report by Mary Higgins for St. Stephen’s Green Trust, October 2010.

This research also found that:

  • 80% are aged over 49 and just over half of these are over 60 and 7% over 70
  • The level of education in care facilities was very poor and the majority (over 70%) spent their lifetime in manual, casual and other low paid work
  • The lack of preparation for life outside the institution left survivors vulnerable to exploitation and for some this was a contributory factor to lives of homelessness, substance abuse and anti-social behaviour
  • Long-term emotional and mental health problems were experienced by four out of five
  • For men these difficulties tend to manifest in risk taking sex, delinquency, crime, violence, alcohol abuse while for women they manifest in anxieties, depression, eating disorders, mood disorders and suicidal tendencies.
  • In spite of these difficulties, almost 60% were in stable relationships, the majority for extended periods
  • Just 7% were separated and 27% were single
  • More women were single than men (35% compared to 29%.)

NOTE: Due to the difficulty in identifying and accessing the subject population in this study, these figures are indicative rather than proportionately sample based.

Connect Counselling available for those upset by BBC Report on Child Abuse

Connect is be available to provide free telephone-based counselling and support to anyone distressed by the current focus on child abuse following the BBC programme on Cardinal Sean Brady and Brendan Smyth.

The service will be available this evening, and over the weekend, to provide support and counselling.

Connect’s opening hours are 6-10pm, Wednesday to Sunday.

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

Connect was established at the request of survivor groups to provide an out-of-hours phone counselling and support service to people who have suffered abuse.

Further information at www.connectcounselling.ie. Connect is funded by the HSE.

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

Connect Counselling available following Vatican Report

Connect will be available to provide telephone-based counselling and support for anyone distressed by today’s Vatican Report into Irish Church compliance with child protection guidelines.

The service will be available during its normal hours from 6pm – 10pm from Wednesday to Sunday.

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

Connect was established at the request of survivor groups to provide an out-of-hours phone counselling and support service to people who have suffered abuse.

Connect is funded by the HSE.

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

Free counselling service to open every day over Christmas

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Connect is to extend its opening hours over Christmas and open every evening from Wednesday 21st December to Sunday 1st January from 6-10pm.

Connect is a free and confidential telephone-based counselling and support service for adults who were abused in childhood and normally opens Wednesday to Sunday.

People can call Connect for free at 1800 477 477. From the UK people can call 00800 477 477 77. Callers will get to speak with a professionally trained counsellor who can listen and provide support.

Connect Acting Manager Theresa Merrigan said that Christmas can be an emotional time for people and this creates a greater demand for counselling and support services.

More information at www.connectcounselling.ie. Connect is an out of hours professional service funded by the HSE.

Further Information
Ronan Cavanagh, Montague Communications: (01) 830 3116 or (086) 317 9731.

Connect Counselling open following focus on Cloyne Report

Connect will be open this evening and over the weekend to provide telephone-based counselling and support for anyone distressed by today’s media reporting on the Cloyne Report into abuse.

The service provides professional counselling to survivors of abuse at freephone 1800 477 477 from the Republic of Ireland and 00800 477 477 77 from Northern Ireland.

The service is open tonight from 6-10pm and will also open on Saturday and Sunday evenings and can provide support to anyone who finds news about the upcoming Cloyne Report distressing.

Connect received a large volume of calls at the time of the launch of the Ryan and Murphy reports.

Connect was established at the request of survivor groups to provide a phone counselling and support service to people who have suffered abuse.

Connect is funded by the HSE.

Further Information
Ronan Cavanagh, Montague Communications: (01) 830 3116 or (086) 317 9731.

Telephone counselling service reports busiest year ever in 2010 25% increase in calls to Connect in 2010

Average annual increase of 30% in calls to Connect in first four full years of service

Telephone based counselling and support service Connect reported its busiest year ever in 2010 receiving more than 10,000 calls, a 25% increase over 2009.

The finding is contained in Connect’s first ever service report (Connect Service Report 2006-2010) which was launched today covering the first five years of the service from 2006 to 2010.

Calls to Connect grew by an average of 30% year on year during its first four full years of service (2007-2010), with a total of 31,835 calls made to Connect since it began in mid 2006.

Connect Chief Executive Officer Anne Richardson said that, as a free telephone based professional counselling service, Connect is a unique service and the continuing growth in demand shows that it meets a particular demand for many people.

“It is clear from our report that telephone based counselling facilitates counselling for people who otherwise may not embark on the process. In meeting this demand Connect also reduces its users need to access other parts of the health service. ”

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

Other findings in report include:

  • There are more female than male callers although men are almost as likely as women to experience abuse. However, the number of male callers has been increasing each year. In 2006 84% of callers were female and 16% male compared to 60% female and 40% male in 2010.
  • Urban areas such as Dublin Cork and Galway had a much higher volume of calls than rural areas, accounting for 54% of calls in 2010.
  • Connect provides a flexible service and extends its opening hours at times of high demand (such as the launch of the Murphy and Ryan reports, or TV programmes relating to abuse). Since 2006 it has extended its hours of service on 23 separate occasions.

Ms. Richardson said that Connect has in its communications been encouraging more men to avail of the service and is working with GPs to encourage more people in rural areas to use the service.

Connect ready to extend opening hours

The service currently operates from 6-10pm Wednesday to Sunday and Ms. Richardson said the Service Report shows that Connect is in a strong position to now expand the opening hours towards a full-time basis.

“The number of calls received outside of service hours is growing each year and there were 10,000 out of hours calls since 2007. An independent service evaluation in 2009 recommended the extension of the service to 12 hours a day, seven days a week. In 2010 Connect became the first Irish service to receive the UK based Helplines Association Quality Standard mark.

“When the service was established in 2006 it was intended to move from a part-time service to a full-time one. I believe we are now in a position to do this and funding is the key issue that will have to be addressed,” she said.

Connect can be called from the Republic of Ireland on 1800 477 477 and from the UK on 0800 477 477 77. The full Connect Service Report 2006-2010 is available for download at www.connectcounselling.ie

Further Information
Ronan Cavanagh, Montague Communications: (01) 830 3116 or (086) 317 9731.
www.connectcounselling.ie

Counselling service to extend opening hours over Christmas

Connect is to extend its opening hours over Christmas and open every evening from Wednesday 22nd December to Sunday 2nd January from 6-10pm.

Connect is a free and confidential telephone-based counselling and support service for adults who were abused in childhood.

People can call Connect for free at 1800 477 477. From the UK people can call 00800 477 477 77. Callers will get to speak with a professionally trained counsellor who can listen and provide support.

Connect Chief Executive Officer Anne Richardson said that Christmas can be an emotional time for people and this creates a greater demand for counselling and support services.

The service normally opens Wednesday to Sunday. More information at www.connectcounselling.ie. Connect is funded by the HSE.

Further Information

Ronan Cavanagh, Montague Communications: (01) 830 3116 or (086) 317 9731.

 

Montague Communications, Prospect House, 3 Prospect Road, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.

M: 086 317 9731 T: 01 830 3116 F: 01 830 4362 www.montaguecomms.ie

Connect open following launch of Chapter 19 of Murphy Report

Connect will be open this evening and over the weekend to provide telephone-based counselling and support, following today’s launch of Chapter 19 of the Murphy Report.

The service provides professional counselling to survivors of abuse at freephone1800 477 477 from the Republic of Ireland and 00800 477 477 77 from Northern Ireland.

The service is open from 6-10pm tonight and on Saturday and Sunday evenings.

Connect Chief Executive Officer Anne Richardson said the service received a large volume of calls at the time of the launch of the Ryan and Murphy reports and was expecting an increase in calls over the coming days.

Connect was established at the request of survivor groups to provide a phone counselling and support service to people who have suffered abuse.