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Pieta House, the centre for the prevention of self-harm or suicide, opened in Lucan, County Dublin in January 2006. Since then, we’ve also opened two outreach centres in Tallaght, Dublin 24 and Finglas, Dublin 11, as well as three centres of excellence in Ballyfermot, Dublin 10, Mungret, County Limerick and Roscrea, County Tipperary.

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Members of the Westport Covey Wheelers and Western Lakes cycling clubs “supporting” John Colcannon, West of Ireland representative for Pieta House.

Our founder, Joan Freeman, was a practicing psychologist. She closed down her counselling business almost a decade ago to dedicate her time to helping people who were suicidal. After three years of research, she opened up Pieta House in Lucan, Co Dublin. It quickly became a respected and recognised service for those who were suicidal.

With her long experience of counselling people who were self-harming, Joan knew this taboo subject was little discussed and rarely understood. She decided that Pieta House would also help people with this distressing issue.

Pieta House now has a staff of 80 and the demand for our services hasn’t let up. In 2012, more than 3,000 people came to Pieta House for help and the numbers contacting us are rising all the time.

We’re passionate about our work. As 90% of our income comes from fundraising events, we rely heavily on the support and encouragement of our volunteers and the friends of Pieta.

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John Concannon, West of Ireland represtative for Pieta House getting in some training in Westport.

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John getting in some training for the Westportif.

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[separator headline=”h3″ title=”How does someone get a referral to Pieta House?”]
You can ring up and make an appointment for yourself. Alternatively, someone else can make an appointment for you. That person could be your partner, parent, friend, colleague or school counsellor. You don’t need a doctor’s referral or have a psychiatric report already.

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Our waiting time is rarely more than a week, although we do have some particularly busy periods. We have two emergency appointments each day for people who are actively suicidal. There is no waiting list for anyone in acute crisis.

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Our service is completely free but we gladly accept donations.

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It’s really up to the individual, but it usually takes four to six weeks.

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We don’t prescribe medication. We work with the person, their doctor and their family to improve their well-being.

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After an initial assessment, the person is assigned a therapist. They’ll see the therapist at least twice a week for one-to-one sessions. The therapist will work to build a strong rapport with the person. They’ll help the person come through their crisis and exchange their negative feelings for positive, hopeful emotions. Each session lasts 50 minutes.

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We see the family as the most important part of on-going therapy. They’re at the frontline of their loved one’s distress. We show families how to deal with their own fear and upset at the situation, and how to help and support the person in crisis.

A support therapist is available for families, if they want this help, and they’ll meet for weekly appointments. This therapist is also available on the phone at any time. This service is also free.

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We’ll make sure that you have the tools to continue your recovery after your time with us. This might mean on-going support with another counselling centre.

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John getting some fresh sea air under the watch eye of Croagh Patrick.