Community and a secret millionaire help Pieta House open in Tuam

first_imgTHE DOORS HAVE only just opened at Pieta House West, but the calls are already coming in.This is Pieta’s seventh suicide crisis centre, and in another two weeks it will have opened its eighth centre, in Cork.Pieta House’s chief operations officer Cindy O’Connor explained that the centre was brought to the west thanks to the hard work of the local community, which fundraised for the building, and a secret millionaire.The latter was John Concannon, who appeared on the RTÉ show Secret Millionaire in September 2011, and donated €25,000 to the service.O’Connor explained that Concannon invited Pieta House to open a centre in Tuam, and the plans were set in motion.“The people of Galway have just been amazing,” said O’Connor. “They have done countless fundraising events and they secured the funding through all the events so we could open the house here.”Fundraising is incredibly important as all of Pieta House’s services are provided free of charge to people. O’Connor said there is “such a need all over the country” for services like Pieta House.That is evident from the ringing phones:We’ve had quite a few calls already. We’re delighted we’re up and running.There is a panel of therapists available to Pieta House, and people are invited to call the Tuam service, which is based on Bishop St, on 093 25586 to make an appointment.The current opening hours are 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday, but as demand increases, that could change. It is anticipated that after Christmas, Pieta House West will open late one evening a week, and will also open on Saturdays.A large Pieta House centre will also be opened in Bishopstown in Cork in a fortnight, while a further centre is planned for Castleisland.To support the opening of the Cork service, CEO of Pieta House Joan Freeman is moving to the city for a number of months.Pieta House’s goal is to have a centre within 100KM of every person in Ireland, and so far it is proving that with community support – “the community take ownership of Pieta House”, as O’Connor put it – expansion is possible.Pieta House is a free service and can be contacted at 01 601 0000 or [email protected]: Eight men died by suicide every week in 2011>Read: New campaign aims to curb suicides amongst farmers>Read: Pieta House to open suicide crisis centre in Galway>last_img

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