Health Service Executive
HSE South 2011
13th July 2011
HSE Sets Up Dedicated Helpdesk for People Who Suffered Clerical Child Sexual Abuse
In response to the publication of the Commission of Investigation into the Diocese of Cloyne report today, Wednesday 13th July 2011, the HSE is offering help and support to people who have been affected by clerical child sexual abuse.
The HSE Cloyne Diocese Helpdesk can be contacted confidentially on Freephone 1800 742800 from 3.00pm to 12 midnight today (13th July) and from 8.00a.m. to 12 midnight daily.
The HSE is working in collaboration with a number of agencies, outlined below, to ensure that people who make contact with the Cloyne Diocese Helpdesk have access to a service appropriate to their needs. Callers to the Helpdesk can speak in confidence to a Helpdesk Advisor who will listen, assess their needs and make them aware of the services that might best suit their particular requirements; some callers may want to speak to a counsellor over the phone or in person, while other callers may want to get some advocacy support.
The HSE acknowledges that the publication of the Cloyne Diocese report may prompt other adult survivors of childhood abuse to come forward, perhaps for the first time. Helpdesk Advisors are available to support all those who make contact with the Helpdesk, to listen to them and help them to decide on the best service for their current needs.
Services available include;
- The HSE National Counselling Service (NCS): available to adults who have experienced abuse as a child. Counselling and psychotherapy is available at 60 locations throughout Ireland and can be accessed by calling Freephone 1800 235 234 for an appointment at a suitable location. This is an automated service available 24/7 which will connect the caller to their local HSE National Counselling Service Centre. Local services operate between 9:00am and 5.00pm Monday – Friday.
- Harbour Counselling Service; (part of the HSE NCS, based in Cork and Kerry) is dedicated to providing a counselling and psychotherapy service to adults who, as children, experienced emotional, physical or sexual abuse or neglect. The abuse or neglect could have occurred in a family, community or institutional setting. Contact can be made directly by calling Freefone 1800 234 116 between 9.00am and 5.00pm or through any healthcare professional. Appointments can be arranged at locations in Cork and Kerry.
- Towards Healing: provides telephone counselling, as well as face to face counselling and psychotherapy anywhere in Ireland. This is a referral service for people who have been sexually, physically or emotionally abused by Catholic priests or religious. This Helpline is staffed by experienced telephone counsellors and is available on Monday and Wednesday from 11.00a.m. to 8.00p.m. and Friday from 11.00a.m. to 4.00p.m. Towards Healing will extend their opening hours following publication of the Cloyne Diocese Report from 8.00am to 1.00am for seven days at Freephone 1800 303 416 or 01 800 0963315 (U.K.) See www.towardshealing.ie
- Cork Sexual Violence Centre formerly Cork Rape Crisis Centre provides a counselling service to victims of rape and abuse. Freefone 1800 496 496, The Freefone number is available from 9.00a.m. to 5.00p.m. daily.
- The National 24 hour Helpline for Victims of Rape and Sexual Abuse is available 24 hours, 7 days per week on Freephone 1800 778 888. Telephone and face to face counselling services are available.
- Connect provides out of hours (evening and weekends) telephone counselling for adults who have experienced childhood abuse. It is open from 6.00pm to 2.00am, Wednesday to Sunday on Freephone 1800 477 477 in ROI; 00800 235 235 55 from Northern Ireland and UK.
- One in Four provides counselling and psychotherapy as well as advocacy services for people who have experienced clerical sexual abuse. Tel: 01 662 4070 from 9.30a.m. to 5.30p.m. Monday to Friday. One in Four also provides counselling for perpetrators of abuse.
- The Samaritans helpline is available 24 hours a day everyday on 1850 60 90 90.
Noreen Harrington, Director of Adult Counselling with the HSE said, ‘It is important that adults who have experienced childhood abuse are made aware of the confidential counselling and advocacy services available to them. The HSE is working in collaboration with a number of agencies to ensure that people who make contact with the Cloyne Diocese Helpdesk have access to a service appropriate to their needs.”
Child abuse is a crime. Every child has a right to grow up in a safe environment. The HSE would urge anyone who has suspicions or concerns about a child’s safety to contact the Gardai or the local HSE Social Work office.