CORONAVIRUS

Family Carers Ireland, Kilkenny branch launches counselling service

Around 68% of carers feel that their health had suffered as a result of their role as a family carer

Kilkenny People

Reporter:

Kilkenny People

Email:

sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

KILKENNY

Family Carers Ireland

Family Carers Ireland, Carlow/Kilkenny Resource Centre has announced a new free online counselling service available to family carers funded through the Dormant Account Fund administered by Pobal.

The service was set up in recognition that family carers often live with higher levels of anxiety, depression and stress than the general population. A recent study reveals that 48% of carers are diagnosed with mental ill health and 68% of carers felt that their health had suffered as a result of their role as a family carer. This pressure on family carers is amplified in the current crisis as fear for vulnerable loved ones is much greater.

There are 7,747 family carers in Kilkenny. Family carers save the State billions of euro each year by caring for loved ones at home and significantly easing pressure on the health care service – this has never been more important than during the current pandemic.

“Our Careline has been inundated with calls from family carers who are struggling with their emotional well-being at this time," said Mary Walsh, Carer Supports Manager, Family Carers Ireland, Carlow/Kilkenny Resource Centre.

"With much of the supports and services now closed the demands of their caring role and the additional challenges faced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic is taking its toll on their mental wellbeing. Family Carers Ireland is pleased to announce the introduction of a free online counselling service to help support our members.”

The counselling service offers a safe, non-judgemental space for family carers to talk about and work through any problems or difficult feelings they are experiencing such as stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, burnout or depression with a qualified professional. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, no face-to-face counselling is taking place in Ireland, however family carers can engage with a qualified counsellor by phone or through a secure video link.

The new service is one of many supports that family Carers Ireland has put in place including liaising with other national bodies to deliver services to vulnerable family carers  across its network. 

Family carers wishing to avail of this service or  who need support with any other aspect of their caring role, can contact the National Freephone Careline 1800 24 07 24 or see familycarers.ie for more.