A LOCAL counselling service received a New Year’s boost this week with the news that they will be given €20,000 in funding from the Department of Health.
Aspen Counselling, which operate in Lucan Village, will receive the money from the Department’s National Lottery fund following an application to support their work in the Lucan area.
The group offer low-cost counselling, with founders Linda Balfe and Paula Richards saying that the non-profit group keep their costs low to avoid “roadblocks” to treatment.
The grant will facilitate support for over 100 clients and groups in the immediate weeks, with Aspen aiming to have no client waiting longer than five days for an appointment.
Linda Balfe said the money represented a huge boost.
“I feel like it’s a huge acknowledgement from the Government of the work that we do at Aspen.
“In real terms, the money will allow 100 clients to have sessions for as little as €10 and, in some cases, we can waive that fee. It will really make our work more accessible.
“To some people, €20,000 may not seem like a lot of money, but it’s huge for us. It will really help us move forward.
“We’re going to do great work,” she said.
Local Fine Gael TD Derek Keating congratulated the group on the funding.
“I am personally delighted to endorse Aspen Counselling who have been based in Lucan for the last 11 years with a panel of experts available immediately for any individual, couple or group who require emotional, psychological or counselling support,” said Deputy Keating.
Keating added that the group’s goal to end the stigma surrounding mental health should be heeded.
“I am satisfied that every single cent will be used to assist people with their difficulties.
“If a person fractured their leg or had a chest infection, they would not ignore it and, likewise, if you have a stressful, emotional or a debilitating crisis in your life, use the support services such as Aspen.”
To contact Aspen Counselling, see www.aspencounsellingservices.com, call 621 7063 or email aspenabc@gmail.com. Their service is available from 9am to 9pm.