Almost 5,200 people on waiting lists for National Counselling Service

Almost 5,200 people on waiting lists for National Counselling Service

At least 169 people have been waiting at least a year to be seen by the HSE's National Counselling Service.

They are all based in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.

These HSE figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal the waiting lists for the National Counselling Service across the country.

The stats involve counselling in primary care, along with those who have suffered a bereavement or need help due to suicidal thoughts or self-harm.

There are nearly 5,200 on these waiting lists across the country.

At least 721 people have been waiting at least seven months and 169 have been waiting over a year.

All of those on the list for more than a year are in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon.

There are 695 people in Cork and Kerry are on the waiting list with 145 waiting over six months.

"It is a farce to have to wait for more than a few months even because the crisis may have passed, the person may have gone elsewhere, perhaps gone privately for treatment when they can ill afford it or don't need to go privately, they may well have harmed themselves," said Patricia Casey, a consultant psychiatrist.

"So it means all of the campains about coming forward and getting help are for naught."

Ms Casey said the problem will get worse in the coming months.

"It is very concerning that people who may be in crisis either because of suicidal thoughts or personal problems or mental health problems or financial problems have to wait so long to see a psychologist.

"Of course, it is likely that that will get worse when the lockdown has ended because there will be mental health repercussions from Covid."

Brendan Kelly, a professor of psychiatry in Trinity College, says the numbers on waiting lists is very worrying.

"This is a very big concern especially at the present time when levels of stress and anxiety are so high owing to Covid-19," said Prof. Kelly.

"The counselling services provided by the State are a vital part of mental healthcare for this country."

This story was updated to correct a figure at 10.20am

More on this topic

School-based mental health programmes for teens analysedSchool-based mental health programmes for teens analysed

'Glaring gaps’ in mental health services must be tackled in post-Covid Ireland, says PNA'Glaring gaps’ in mental health services must be tackled in post-Covid Ireland, says PNA

New government needs to 'own' new mental health strategy – MHC ChiefNew government needs to 'own' new mental health strategy – MHC Chief

Ant and Dec, David Walliams and Phillip Schofield appear in mental health videoAnt and Dec, David Walliams and Phillip Schofield appear in mental health video


More in this Section

People advised to wear face coverings when visiting older peoplePeople advised to wear face coverings when visiting older people

Seven more coronavirus deaths and 28 more cases confirmed in IrelandSeven more coronavirus deaths and 28 more cases confirmed in Ireland

UK Bishop ‘deeply saddened’ after Irish language epitaph controversyUK Bishop ‘deeply saddened’ after Irish language epitaph controversy

McHugh indicates summer schooling on way for students who need extra supportMcHugh indicates summer schooling on way for students who need extra support


Lifestyle

Rower Philip Doyle believes there is no gain without pain when it comes to training. “You have to break a body down to build it up,” says the 27-year-old matter of factly.Irish rower Philip Doyle: 'You have to break a body down to built it up'

The bohemian brio of kaftans seems a tad exotic for socially distanced coffee mornings or close-to-home staycations. Perhaps that’s their charm.Trend of the Week: Cool Kaftans - Breezy dressing redefined

Eve Kelliher consults a Munster designer to find out what our future residences, offices and businesses will look likeHow pandemic life is transforming homes and workplaces

Nidge and co return for a repeat of a series that gripped the nation over its five seasons.Friday's TV Highlights: Love/Hate returns while Springwatch looks at rewilding

More From The Irish Examiner