Extra hours for telephone counselling service


CHURCH HELPLINE:A TELEPHONE counselling service for the victims of child abuse established by the Conference of Religious in Ireland (Cori) has extended its opening hours following criticism arising in the aftermath of the Ryan report.

The Faoiseamh helpline, which was set up by Cori in 1996 to respond to the needs of people who were abused by priests or religious, yesterday announced it is to offer services to the public in Ireland, Britain and the North until 8pm this week.

The service was condemned for failing to provide out-of-hours operations and counselling to the public after the release of the report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse last Wednesday.

Faoiseamh provides confidential telephone counselling and a psychotherapy referral service for people who have been sexually, physically, or emotionally abused.

In a statement released yesterday, Faoiseamh said its “opening hours for next week will be reviewed in the light of the level of calls received this week”.

“Our aim is to ensure that the people who contact us receive the best possible help and support in dealing with the events of the past,” the statement from the helpline continued.

Last week, helplines and counselling groups providing services for child abuse victims reported a significant surge in calls following the publication of the report, as well as a host of contacts from new users affected by the contents of the document.

Many service providers said they were forced to draft in extra staff to deal with the increased volume of callers.

Services for victims of abuse living outside Ireland also said they had received a steady number of new contacts following the report’s release.

Counselling services are available from:

  • One in Four: 01-6624070
  • Dublin Rape Crisis Centre: 1800-778888
  • HSE National Counselling Service: 1800-235234
  • Samaritans: 1850-609090
  • Faoiseamh: 1800-331234 and from Britain and the North 0800-973272