Free Skype-based 'homesick therapy' service for Irish abroad launches this weekend

The service will begin with ex-pats currently residing in Australia

Free Skype-based 'homesick therapy' service for Irish abroad launches this weekend

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According to a report published by UCD in support of the Irish Diaspora, research into the emotional and psychological strains of ex-pats found that those abroad were less likely to avail of counselling or similar treatments and assistance.

Studies were taken on Irish living abroad in the UK, the USA and Australia, with the latter described in the report as "Perhaps more than physical health concerns, mental health issues are becoming more pressing with the Irish community in Australia.”

“As the burden of migration – loneliness, isolation, lack of networked support – can be a significant factor among migrants, it is crucial that these issues be recognised overseas…and recognised as …the nexus of the migrant relationship with the host country and with home"

One of the services at the disposal of those abroad are HelpLink.ie, who have counselors set up to assist those who may be suffering from bullying, depression, loneliness, lack of familiar support structure, transitional stress and anxiety, displacement, self-esteem and addiction issues, among other issues.

They have set up Cabhrú - the Irish for help - and from this Saturday the 10th of September, to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day, they will be launching the first of their two Cabhrú services – a free online counselling service for the Irish Abroad, starting with the Irish currently residing in Australia.

Initially, the programme will be available five days a week - from Wednesdays to Sundays - and will consist of voluntary student counsellors who will work from 8am to midday, in order to be available in the evening in local Australian time.

There are plans to potentially run the service seven days a week in the near future, as well as expanding to Irish citizens living in other countries abroad, too.

For more information on the counselling available via HelpLink.ie and Cabhrú, you can read it here, or to make an appointment with Cabhrú, simply email helplinksupport@helplink.ie with the word 'Cabhrú' in the subject line.