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Home » Winter Health » Help will be a call away 24 hours a day for people grappling with harmful thoughts

Clare McKim

National 24-hour Crisis Helpline & Therapy Service Line Manager

A charity offering help and support to those having suicidal thoughts or self-harming is gearing up to meet the growing demand for its services over the holidays.

For some, the festive season can feel overwhelming. Many who struggle with their mental health or feelings of isolation may feel worse than at other times of the year.

Crisis helpline preventing self-harm and suicide

Pieta, a suicide and self-harm prevention charity 85% funded by public donations, is providing clinical support services across 20+ locations in Ireland. Around Christmas, it foresees over 1,500 engagements with its one-to-one therapy — with 600+ expected to be under 18, seeking professional help.

Clare McKim, National 24-hour Crisis Helpline and Therapy Service Line Manager, says: “Last year alone, we received 230 calls and texts to our crisis helpline on Christmas Day. We expect significant numbers of people who are struggling to reach out this year.”

Prioritising wellbeing through activities
like mindfulness, exercise and positive
connections can foster inner peace.

Call or text for professional support

The charity’s 2022 figures showed a total of 100,000 calls and texts made to the crisis helpline. Around 52,000 hours of therapy were completed with 7,000 clients across the country.

Apart from preventing and aiding individuals with suicidal thoughts or self-harm, services also support anyone bereaved by suicide. Last year, over 600 families received free support from Suicide Bereavement Liaison Service officers.

Tips for minding your mental health

Prioritising wellbeing through activities like mindfulness, exercise and positive connections can foster inner peace. Below are a few ways to invest in your mental health, better moods and fulfilment.

• Compare leads to despair. Comparing our lives to others can have a negative impact on our mental health and lead to intense feelings of inferiority. Try limiting your exposure to social media and consumer advertising.

• Connect with nature. Getting outside for fresh air or a change of scenery can induce better thoughts.

• Try to stick to your normal routines, as disruptions over the holiday season may cause an imbalance in your mental health.

• Feelings of isolation and loneliness can be heightened. Try to stay connected. Spend time with friends or family, or get involved in community groups and volunteering.

Freephone Pieta 24-hour crisis helpline: 1800 247 247 or text HELP to 51444 (standard message rates apply).

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