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Pieta confirms all therapy centres will remain open following financial review

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There will be no downgrading of Pieta centres, as the charity announced that it will be employing additional therapists and redeploying admin staff who had been at risk of redundancy.

Pieta, Ireland’s national suicide and self-harm prevention charity, has confirmed that its 15 centres plus four outreach centres will not be downgraded or closed following an internal financial and operational review.

Pieta moved its delivery of therapy for those experiencing suicidal ideation, self-harm and those bereaved by suicide to over the phone in March following COVID-19 restrictions, and also continues to support those in immediate crisis through the 24/7 crisis helpline.

The postponement, due to COVID-19, of Pieta’s flagship fundraiser Darkness into Light, proudly supported by Electric Ireland, left the charity with a very significant funding gap. Pieta relies on the public for 80 percent of its funding to ensure it can provide its national mental health service free of charge. The people of Ireland responded to the challenging financial situation with generous support for the ‘Sunrise’ appeal which, along with a number of other initiatives, raised an incredible €6 million and significant awareness for Pieta.

These funds, together with the Government wage subsidy scheme, increased support from the HSE and a 30 percent pay cut to staff from April to June of this year, means that Pieta is in an improved financial position.

Key points arising from the review include that all 15 Pieta centres, plus its four outreach centres, are to remain open. There will be no downgrading of any centres. Centre hours will be restored back up to January 2020 levels. From next month, Pieta will engage in a phased reopening of centres for staff and will resume face-to-face counselling services from September, in accordance with Government guidelines post-COVID, 14 additional ‘full-time equivalent’ therapists will be employed, eight will support face-to-face counselling and six will join the helpline team to meet the increased demand, 10 full-time equivalent Centre Manager roles and 33 Clinical Support roles, that were identified at risk of redundancy in April 2020, will now be redeployed. From July 1, pay for all staff will be restored to pre-COVID levels, while the HSE has agreed to provide Pieta with additional funding of €114,608 per month, commencing in July. This funding must be spent on supporting the provision of 300 hours per week of therapy to high risk clients. Pieta will also be engaging with Government and the HSE on a sustainable funding model for the delivery of services.

“I want to express my gratitude to the Pieta team and to our supporters across the country for their help, support and patience over recent weeks," speaking about the Financial Review, Pieta CEO, Elaine Austin, said.

"Due to the overwhelming generosity and kindness of the people of Ireland, and increased support from the HSE and our corporate partnerships, Pieta is now in a more secure financial position, and we can confirm that our vital services will continue to be delivered across all of our Centres nationwide. The support has been unparalleled and very humbling. We know people need our service now more than ever in these times of crisis, and it is important that people know that we are here and they are not alone.”

For more information or to donate, please visit www.pieta.ie.

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The tax you’re really paying for your health

By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness With the budget just squared away, there’s always an air of “how did I do out of it?” In Ireland, we enjoy a public healthcare system which is touted to become a universal healthcare system. Maybe “enjoy” is the wrong word. We have it, and we use it, and, […]

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By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness

With the budget just squared away, there’s always an air of “how did I do out of it?”

In Ireland, we enjoy a public healthcare system which is touted to become a universal healthcare system. Maybe “enjoy” is the wrong word.

We have it, and we use it, and, of course we pay for it. We justify the constant ratcheting-up of our tax burden to pay for rising health-care costs. That tax is on our wallets.

We also pay another type of tax: When we’re unhealthy, we don’t get to do the things we like. When we’re overweight, we don’t always say “YES!” when our kids ask to go to the swimming pool.
When we’re unfit, we don’t take our buddy’s invitation for a weekend hiking and camping trip. We can’t start jogging because our knees hurt; can’t lift weights because our back hurts; can’t cut down calories because we feel we need the energy.

Those things are taxes. Physical taxes, but they’re not the worst taxes we pay.

The worst tax we pay is the mental tax.

When we’re self-conscious about our fitness or health, we don’t want to start exercising. We don’t want to look dumb or fail.

We don’t want to start a new lifestyle because our families will say “good for you”, because they know we need it, or they’ll say “you don’t need that …” and lie. Or they’ll roll their eyes because they know we’ve failed before.

When we’ve been away from the gym for four months, we don’t want to do that first workout because we’re going to be last. It’s going to suck and we might get embarrassed.

SELF IMPOSED TAX

The Government makes us pay financial tax, but the other two – physical and mental – are self-imposed.

No one cares if you’re slow.

No one cares if you finish last.

No one cares if you blow your nutrition this week and have to start all over again.

You’d stop caring about what others thought about you if you realised how rarely they actually do.

Everyone thinks about themselves, mostly. That’s the tax they’re paying – and most of us overpay.

We’re taxed enough. Stop worrying about what you look like and start caring about what makes you feel good.

If you’d like to start taking steps in the right direction with your health and fitness, call in for a free consultation with us at Activate. Visit www.activate.ie/free-intro for more information.

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Tractor run raises €500 for charity

By Sean Moriarty Members of Killarney Valley Vintage and Classic Club raised €500 for the Kerry Mental Health Association during their first tractor run since April 2019. 30 tractors took part on Sunday including two rare Ford 3000s from 1974 and an even rarer Zetor Crystal from 1980. Departing from the club’s new ‘Vintage Shed’ […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Members of Killarney Valley Vintage and Classic Club raised €500 for the Kerry Mental Health Association during their first tractor run since April 2019.

30 tractors took part on Sunday including two rare Ford 3000s from 1974 and an even rarer Zetor Crystal from 1980.

Departing from the club’s new ‘Vintage Shed’ on Lewis Road, the convoy travelled to the communications mast near Coolick in Kilcummin, where participants enjoyed views of the wider Castleisland district and Killarney Valley.

“Some of the drivers were never up there before and they were amazed with the views across the two valleys,” organiser Tom Leslie told the Killarney Advertiser.

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