Wednesday, August 28, 2019
Attendance at Pieta Outreach opening in Ballina

Pictured at the official opening of the Pieta outreach service in Ballina were (from left) Peter Hynes, CEO Mayo County Council; Dara Calleary TD; Elaine Austin, CEO Pieta; Cllr Annie May Reape; Cllr Mark Duffy and Johnnie O’Malley, Darkness into Light, Ballina committee.

Ballina’s Pieta outreach service was officially opened at the Family Resource Centre on Abbey St last Monday, broadening the availability of its services and meeting the needs of even more people impacted by suicidal crisis.

The services this nationwide charity provides include free counselling services and support to those who are at the risk of suicide and/or engaging in self-harm and to those bereaved by suicide. Pieta also provides mental health-related educational programmes geared at raising awareness, reducing stigma and to supporting mental health and wellbeing.

Its Ballina outreach service has been operating since last February. It was specifically developed to cater for the growing demand for counselling support in Mayo and is now running two days a week.

At its heart Pieta is about working with people to counteract suicidal ideation; help bring hope back into people’s lives; to improve levels of self-care and support people and families that have been impacted by the loss of a loved one by suicide.

Pieta House CEO, Elaine Austin, attended the outreach service opening in Ballina alongside the Pieta Tuam centre manager, Sinead Raftery.

Elaine said it was important that Pieta’s services are readily accessible. The provision of an outreach facility ensures that support is easily accessible for all those seeking help in Mayo and the surrounding areas.

She said the provision of free and easily accessible support was important in terms of making it easy for people to ask for and get the help they need and to make a difference in their lives and help them to feel better.

Referral to Pieta’s services can be made by family, friends, a GP or self.

Over 80% of Pieta’s income come from fundraising events and donations and its main annual fundraiser, Darkness Into Light, was hugely successful in Mayo this year, attracting 4,280 participants in this global fight against suicide.

Sinead Raftery remarked: “It costs approximately €1,000 to bring one person through our services each year so Darkness into Light and community fundraising is vital to sustain the level of care needed. Our outreach location will ensure these services are more accessible to a wider range of people throughout the county.”

Pieta focuses on providing a non-institutional, community-based service delivering therapeutic support within a non-threatening, caring and compassionate environment. Since it was established in 2006 it has worked with 46,000 people and is now one of Ireland’s leading charitable organisations.

For referrals contact Pieta Tuam Centre which operates the Outreach on (093) 25586. For further information on Pieta House visit


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