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SOSAD Ireland’s impact in our Community
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SOSAD Ireland’s impact in our Community

Looking at how SOSAD Ireland is making a difference

In a world where mental health struggles often remain hidden in the shadows, non-profit organisations like SOSAD Ireland shine a beacon of hope and support for individuals in need. As we reflect on the past year, it is evident that SOSAD Ireland has made a significant impact on our local community, providing vital services and support to those facing mental health challenges.

File photo: Healthy Laois Consultation Workshop at LOETB Centre of Excellence, Portlaoise – Grace Ennis ( SOSAD Laois ), Sarah Butler ( Jigsaw Laois/Offaly ), Michelle Ging ( Local Link ) and Aoife Finlay ( Portlaoise College ) . Photo: Michael Scully – no reproduction fee.

In 2023, SOSAD Ireland facilitated an impressive 19,364 hours of counselling sessions nationwide across six offices in Cavan, Drogheda, Dundalk, Monaghan, Navan, and our local community here in Laois. In Laois alone, they facilitated 1,901 hours of counselling sessions, and supported 147 local clients, all free of charge. SOSAD Ireland offers a lifeline to individuals grappling with various mental health issues. These sessions provided a safe and confidential space for individuals to express their feelings, receive guidance, and work towards healing and recovery.

Moreover, the impact of SOSAD Ireland’s work can be seen in the 1,647 individual clients who received support through their network of locations. Each client represents a unique journey towards resilience and well-being, made possible through the compassionate care and expertise of SOSAD Ireland’s dedicated team.

File photo: SOSAD’s campaign “Breaking the Silence over a Cuppa” is encouraging people to chat about mental health over a cuppa during the month of June.  Be it at home or in your work place to get people comfortable and break down the stigma around talking about mental health. Individuals, community groups and organisations can register to host a tea / coffee break and receive a ‘SOSAD pack’. 

Beyond their counselling services, SOSAD Ireland has been actively engaged in community outreach initiatives aimed at raising awareness and breaking the stigma surrounding mental health. From national fundraisers to awareness campaigns, SOSAD Ireland has been a driving force in promoting open conversations about mental health and suicide prevention.

Dave Lawlor, Head of PR & Social Media at SOSAD Ireland told the Laois People, ‘the success of SOSAD Ireland would not have been possible without the unwavering support of our volunteers, counsellors, and the core SOSAD team. Together, they have worked tirelessly to create a community where mental health is prioritised, stigma is eliminated, and everyone has access to the vital mental health supports’.

File photo: SOSAD Laois Counselling Room

Looking ahead, SOSAD Ireland remains committed to their mission of promoting mental health awareness and preventing suicide in our community. With ongoing support from the locality, they are confident that they can continue to make a positive impact on individuals and families facing mental health challenges.