Minister talks the talk

DR JAMES Reilly, Minister for Health, was in town last weekend to attend the launch of a new community based counselling intiative, 'It's Good to Talk', at Iberius House in Wexford.

The service aims to make counselling services available to the entire community at affordable rates and free, where necessary. Speaking after the launch, the Minister stressed that a service such as this is at the heart of the government's plans for the provision of mental health services in the future.

'There has been an over emphasis on the past and placing patients in institutions for long periods of time', he said. 'That is not current practice anymore.'

Instead, the Minister said that he felt there was a need for community based early intervention counselling such as that being provided by 'It's Good to Talk'.

The HSE is partially funding 'It's Good to Talk', however it is predominantly funded and run by a team of volunteers, headed up by Eamonn Doran, Director of the service.

The team at 'It's Good to Talk' is made up of a number of professionally accredited counsellors and psychotherapists.

They are supported by dedicated volunteers, including third year students from the BA in Counselling Skills and Psychotherapy Studies at the Irish College of Humanities and Applied Sciences.

It's Good to Talk offers a number of services, including counselling, psychotherapy, community workshops, advocacy and group therapy.

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