Counsellors and psychotherapists
Sir, – The Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) is offering its full support to the Government in addressing the inevitable negative psychological impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The IACP represents over 4,500 members throughout the country who can help with the provision of counselling and psychotherapy supports to those who are isolated, anxious, and overwhelmed by the current unfolding situation.
Our organisation has developed comprehensive guidelines and standards for the provision of tele-counselling and online counselling.
Our members provide invaluable supports to many of the vulnerable people in our society, including older people, children and young people, and people living with a range of mental-health issues.
Our counsellors and psychotherapists are needed now more than ever, as Ireland struggles to come to terms with the mental-health impact of changing work circumstances, financial insecurity, isolation, bereavement, the prolonged uncertainty, and resulting anxiety and trauma caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Counsellors and psychotherapists are already playing a vital role on the frontline of this pandemic, supporting vulnerable people, in many cases on a voluntary basis, including medical staff and other key frontline workers who are struggling with the psychological distress caused by the impact of this virus.
There has been a welcome acknowledgement from Government of the need for urgent therapeutic support and we have offered our support to Government to ensure this need is met, not only now but also into the future.
Counselling and psychotherapy will have a critical role to play in the longer-term recovery of the country and in helping the nation return to normality.
We are calling on the Government as a first step to follow the example set by the UK and allocate a specific fund to support mental wellbeing.
The UK government has announced a £5 million grant for leading mental-health charities to fund additional services for people struggling with their mental wellbeing during this time.
In the longer term, there will be an ongoing need for counselling and psychotherapy supports, and we are available to work with the Government to help address the psychological toll that Covid-19 has already taken and will continue to take on the nation. – Yours, etc,
Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin.