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.