January 23, 2012

 Friendship House offers new personal crisis service
Text: Friendship House offersnew personal crisis serviceDeirdre KellyA NEW support service forpeople going through per-sonal crisis, and to help in theprevention of suicide, is com-ing on stream in Ballaghader-reen.

Friendship House is a newcharity being spearheaded bylocal man Gerry Hunt and hisdaughter Lauren, who is basedin Charlestown.

Its range of practical sup-ports will include therapists,counselling, accountancy andfinancial advisory, legal assist-ance, life skills and home man-agement coaching.

With many people strug-gling due to the economiccrisis, Friendship House aimsto help them before what forsome can by the ultimate finalstage of suicide.

As Lauren explains: "Wehave all known people downthrough the years who havedied by suicide. When my dadsaw friends of his getting hurt,he decided he had to do some-thing about it." Friendship House is a firstin Ireland and will be based atPound Street in Ballaghader-reen. A promotion campaignis now underway to get peopleinvolved and to become mem-bers.

There will be a lead-in pe-riod before they start takingrequests for assistance to fa-cilitate the setting up of a da-tabase and issuing of a codenumbers to supporters foridentification purposes. Whenthat is completed the officewill open to the public.

As well as support services,Friendship House will be pro-moting employment and alsodiscount deals with retailersfor members.

Lauren explains how thefund will be used for thegroup to price jobs and helpget members work. The groupwill also be approaching busi-nesses, from home fuel suppli-ers to dentists and vets, to rundiscount deals for members.

With over 400,000 peopleunemployed, many are underimmense pressure, bothemotionally and financially.

People are being invited tobecome supporters of Friend-ship House and enable themprovide a range of services onan ongoing basis for peopleexperiencing personal andfamily difficulties.

A nationwide network isbeing put in place facilitatedby Friendship House wherebysupporters can access theseservices.

We are all aware of the dev-astation of suicide. FriendshipHouse wants to reassure eve-ryone going through a difficulttime that help is available.

One of the main aims of theprogramme is to find the rootcause of whatever problem ispresented and to see it throughto a successful conclusion.

When a person loses theirjob the new pressures thatmust be faced can be over-whelming. As a result, a wholefamily may be suffering mentaland physical health problems,depending on their individualcoping skills.

Friendship House will takea holistic approach to each:case, taking into account the'broader implications.

To become a member costsjust €5 a month. That money,says Lauren, will, for exam-ple, support people who can'tafford to see a counsellor tohelp get them back on theirfeet. It will also support thejobs initiative and help createsustainable employment formembers.

Friendship House is a registeredcharity and services areconfidential. To find out more,email friendshiphouseO@gmail.

com, phone (094) 9861776 or(087) 1802020 or check out thewebsite, www.friendshiphouse.ie

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