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Local charity set to officially open centre providing mental health support to Laois community

Teac Tom

Teac Tom will officially open a new counselling centre in Stradbally later today between 4.30pm and 6pm.

The charity offers professional mental health support and suicide bereavement services to people of all ages, as well as 24-hour phone support.

Teac Tom first opened its doors in Kilkenny city in 2015. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength providing free counselling services, group and family therapy and children’s play therapy to those in need of support in our community.

Though originally formed as a suicide intervention and suicide bereavement support service, it has broadened its range of services to reach more people in the community.

Teac Tom receives calls from people who are dealing with a variety of mental health issues or those who just need a little extra support.

In 2018, Angela Hayes, CEO of Teac Tom saw that there was a growing need for these mental health support services. People were contacting Teac Tom from Carlow, Offaly, Wexford, Tipperary and Laois and further afield.

Through engagement with local councillors and supporters, it was decided to open a second house in Stradbally, a community that had sadly seen several suicides over the previous years.

A premises was acquired on Main St, Stradbally and with the support of local estate agent John O’ Brien, renovations were carried out and the house was fitted out as a purpose-built counselling centre.

There are two counselling rooms, a professionally designed play-therapy room and a reception area.

To the front of the house there is a reception room that will accommodate the walk-in service as well as community coffee mornings.

A small garden area to the rear will be completed next spring. The whole space is very welcoming and safe; it takes courage for people to seek help when they are struggling with their mental health and the house is carefully designed to put people at their ease when they come through the doors.

Teac Tom receives no government funding to provide its services and is funded entirely by donations from individuals, clubs and companies as well as community-based fundraising events.

Teac Tom provides immediate help to people who need it and contacts anyone who reaches out to them within 24-hours.

With 1 in 4 Irish adults experiencing mental health issues for the first time during the pandemic, it is expected that the demand for services across the sector will continue to increase in the coming years.

Angela Hayes, CEO and Founder of Teac Tom said: “The seed was sown for this centre four years ago when Teac Tom supported a local family after the tragic loss of their sister.

“Since then, there has been amazing support, generosity, kindness and endless volunteer work to ensure the people of the Midlands would have access to counselling and support in their community.

“Without the support from the community and businesses in Stradbally and the wider area, today would not have been possible.

“Teac Tom is proud to be at the heart of the community providing support to those who cannot access statutory services and need immediate help.”

SEE ALSO – Four Laois lads set for 100km Australian cycle in aid of Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association

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