turn2me launch services to support young people this Christmas

by Gazette Reporter

Christmas can be a difficult time for young people and families, especially this year.

Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler TD is encouraging those who need it to avail of turn2me services which have been extended to support young people aged between 12 to 17, and their families this year.   

turn2me provides 24/7 support 365 days a year, including Christmas day.

All of their services are facilitated by mental health professionals, entirely online, and this is the first service that the charity has provided for the under 18 age group.

With support from funding from Sláintecare’s Integration Fund, the service comes in a number of forms, and also includes services for parents and guardians.

Supports available include:

  • Free peer support instant chat groups for young people based on shared issues such as anxiety, friendships, and relationships (no parental consent is needed for this service).
  • Support groups are scheduled at different times of the day throughout the week to accommodate different schedules and participants can remain anonymous when online. Groups are facilitated by a professional facilitator.
  • Counselling for young people is also provided online for free (parental consent required).
  • Peer support is available 24/7 via our Thought Catcher, which is moderated on a full time basis by trained staff, Online Community Moderators.

The service has been developed in consultation with a dedicated Youth Advisory Panel established by turn2me, comprising 20 young people aged between 12 to 18 from across the country.

Supports for parents/ guardians include:

  • Free, online couples counselling on a wide range of issues such as communication, conflict, trust issues, LGBTQ+, infidelity, family, parenting, blended family and extended family. 
  • Parent specific instant chat support groups for members to connect with other parents and share solutions and coping strategies on a variety of mental health topics.

Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler TD, said: “The provision of professional online mental health support means that people can access it wherever they are, whenever they need it.

“This is especially important at times like Christmas, which can be difficult for many people, and as we continue to deal with the challenges associated with Covid-19. 

“turn2me has been providing online mental health supports since 2009 and I am delighted that they are now in a position to extend their service to younger people. The service is free, anonymous, and accessible online on a 24/7 basis  and I hope that anyone who needs it will log on to get support.”

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