At Home and Abroad

Stories and interviews from the Irish Diaspora

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Lochlann Scott - Helplink Support for Irish Abroad

2019-03-10

Helplink Support Services is a charitable organisation that provides accessible
Mental Health & Conflict Resolution services
(locally in the West of Ireland and nationally/internationally online)
Irish Abroad Counselling Service: With support in the past from the Minister for Diaspora, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the GAA, An Post and other agencies we provide our unique free, online Irish abroad counselling service for Irish citizens living abroad. The service is available to current Irish passport holders globally (time zone dependent). In 2019 Helplink expanded this service to support returning Irish emigrants as well, through self referral directly to us or through our referral partners Crosscare Migrant Project, Safe Home Ireland and the Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas (ICPO).
Online Mediation Service: in addition we provide Ireland’s first Online Mediation Service – the reasoning behind setting up this service is because we wanted to support people who are in conflict and either cannot or should not be in the same room with each other; but they still need to sort out disputes such as child access and financial matters.

Irish Abroad Online Counselling Service (IAOCS) – supporting Irish citizens living abroad with their emotional support needs 7 days a week!

This service is also available for returning Irish emigrants – must register for appointment within 3 months of return.

Over the past six years our Irish based, Garda vetted Counsellors have been supporting the Irish abroad that have been experiencing the following: bullying, depression, loneliness, lack of a familiar support structure, transitional stress and anxiety, displacement, self-esteem and addiction issues…

From listening to the needs of our clients’ through their stories and analysing current and previous research, we have found that Diaspora (emigrants) are very unlikely to make use of counselling services in their adopted country of residence. Those who attempt to engage report barriers experienced with culturally unaware counsellors making the counselling process more difficult among other aspects.

Examples of these stories that are reflected in decades of multi-cultural counselling research are available here: ‘Research Links‘; for more on this topic please see our ‘identified need‘ page.

With the assistance of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the support of the GAA and An Post, Helplink launched our free online counselling service on September 10th 2016; initially for Irish citizens in Australia and in Canada. In 2018 appointments for this much needed service became available for Irish citizens across the globe (time zone dependent).

This is a free service for Irish citizens living abroad and now, since 2019, Irish citizens can also avail of the service when they are returning to Ireland. For Irish returning emigrants they can self-refer directly to us or they can also go through our referral partners Crosscare Migrant Project, Safe Home Ireland and the Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas – click on the links to go to their websites.

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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 14.14MB - Duration: 1:01:47 m (32 kbps 44100 Hz)



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