Concerns over future of Pieta House Limerick service

first_imgEmail Print WITH four of Pieta House’s nine therapists in Limerick laid off since the Covid-19 lockdown began, staff have raised concerns about the mental health service’s future in the city.Pieta House has helped thousands of people in the Mid-West since it was first established a decade ago. The free counselling service, based at Ard Aulin in Mungret, focusses on those who are in suicidal distress or engaging in self-harm. Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up One Pieta House staff member, who wrote to the Limerick Post this week, claimed that the free therapy service may not continue in its current form into the future.“Compulsory redundancies of centre manager, clinical support staff and the letting go of sessional therapists, who are all the heart of Pieta House, will mean that Pieta as we know it will cease to exist,” they said.“The Sunrise Appeal has been a huge success and has raised in excess of €5 million.“Pieta receives more that €2m from the HSE every year and Health Minister Simon Harris announced last month an additional 114,608 per month to help Pieta save jobs.“Despite the success of the fundraising, approximately 50 per cent of staff have been let go with some still waiting for confirmation of further lay offs, which effectively will mean approximately 70 per cent of very experienced  staff will be let go.”The anonymous Pieta House staff member went onto accuse the service of being “disingenuous” for not making the staff and people of Ireland aware of what the service is going to look like in the future.They also raised concerns that given the current challenges with Covid-19 there may be many more deaths by suicide in the future. The onus, they believe, is now on Pieta House to provide the best possible support to ensure that they continue the work to prevent deaths by suicide. “Since December 2010 Pieta House has supported thousands of people of all age from groups from six years of age to people in their 70’s.  Pieta House has been there for people through the darkest moments in their lives. Many of whom would say, ‘I would not be alive today but for Pieta House’.“Last year Pieta House Mid-West witnessed a significant increase in U18’s accessing the service . Pieta House Mid-West is constantly stretched for resources and has always had waiting lists. I dread to think of what will happen in the future with the plan to restructure the service.”However, Pieta House revealed in a statement to the Limerick Post this week, that they are now in a very different position, based on the incredible public response to its Sunrise campaign, boosted by the Late Late Show the night before.“We had been facing an existential funding crisis and had been taking some difficult steps to deal with it. However, owing to the enormous generosity of the people of Ireland and their obvious care for those suffering with their mental health, coupled with some additional funding from the HSE for 300 additional hours for high risk clients per week, we are now able to review our position much more positively,” Pieta House stated.“We are in the middle of that process and hope to complete it within a couple of weeks. Our focus throughout is on meeting the significant demand for our services nationwide and there will be no downgrading of centres.”Pieta House also pointed out that it will be maintaining and potentially increasing its services to the public once the review is complete.“We are currently engaged in a consultation process with staff. There will be some re-deployment of personnel with the intention of putting as much resources as possible into the frontline and therapist hours. We are looking to employ more therapists directly, rather than on contract, and we have paused a reduction in therapist hours pending the outcome of the review.“In the meantime, we continue, during these restricted times, to deliver our services 24/7 by phone (1800 247 247) and text (51444) and we encourage anyone who is feeling anxious or is struggling with mental health issues at the moment to reach out and talk to Pieta. We are there for you.” Twitter Linkedin Advertisementcenter_img WhatsApp Facebook NewsCommunityConcerns over future of Pieta House Limerick serviceBy Alan Jacques – May 29, 2020 1276 Previous articleMore than €3 Million rental income to be refunded to University of Limerick on-campus residentsNext articleLkLadyPod #18 Sive: Why Do We Need Music Right Now? Alan Jacqueshttp://www.limerickpost.ielast_img read more

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Big chill at new UK plant

first_imgFrozen cookie production at a new UK plant is benefiting from high-volume refrigeration plant supplied by Eurotek (Aylsham, Norwich). The line at Rich Products’ plant in Hartlebury, Worcestershire, includes a new, made-to-measure, Eurotek spiral freezer and refrigeration plant. This can handle a range of product sizes and weights at a maximum speed of around 2,000kg an hour. Rich Products transferred its frozen cookie production from Holland to the UK last year – a move that has enabled it to better serve major clients such as Tesco. Eurotek MD Roger Smith says: “The spiral freezing system offers exceptional flexibility. It can handle large volumes and is well suited to handling product such as cookies, which have been deposited onto sheets of paper.”Constructed entirely from stainless steel, the horizontal airflow spiral freezer is easy to clean and maintain, with a variable speed belt, says Eurotek.last_img read more

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Regulators skeptical of BT borrowing more money

first_imgBurlington Telecom officials were greeted with much skepticism by regulators in their request yesterday to borrow more money from the City of Burlington’s cash pool in an effort to make an interest payment on existing debt. The $386,673 interest payment to CitiCapital Municipal Finance is due Wednesday. The Vermont Public Service Board and staff did not make a final decision, but their line of questioning cast much doubt on the wisdom on borrowing more money to cover debt that the city-owned telecom company already cannot cover.Burlington Telecom, which offers telephone, television and Internet services and has 4,600 subscribers, already owes the city $16.95 million. It is also in violation of its charter for not repaying the loan to the city within 60 days.last_img

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Returning to Katahdin

first_imgAfter a 44-year wait, Bruce Matson began the 2,189-mile journey that has long been awaiting him. On February 25, Matson set out from Springer Mountain in Georgia to begin a northbound thru-hike of the entire Appalachian Trail (AT). Back in 1974, before a long climb to the top of corporate success, Matson was inspired to look beyond the hustle of city life. At a camp in Connecticut, Bruce first became introduced to the almighty challenge of the Appalachian Trail by the legendary Warren Doyle. Doyle, now a major advocate and teacher so to speak of the A.T., had just recorded the fastest known thru-hike from Georgia to Maine. “I actually said to myself – ‘I’m going to do that some day,” said Matson.As a youth, Matson hiked Mount Katahdin, the northern terminus of the A.T., But then Matson went on to college and law school. Marriage and children also kept his A.T. dreams on hold.But over the years, the Richmond attorney frequently offered “trail magic” to A.T. thru-hikers passing through Virginia, helping them with resupply and bringing them dinner. Now, at age 60, he is finally fulfilling his childhood promise to thru-hike the A.T.Matson is no stranger to long-distance hiking. To prepare for the A.T., Matson hiked the 500-mile Camino de Santiago, as well as the 40-mile Overland Track in Tasmania, and the 35-mile Milford Track in New Zealand. Perhaps the biggest challenge Matson faces won’t be the A.T.’s grueling climbs, but his record-setting fundraising goal. Matson is pledging to raise $250,000 for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. If successful, Matson will provide the highest individual monetary contribution ever made to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.  The effort is commonly referred to as RTK’s AT Challenge, a reference to his trail name and web site: Returning to Katahdin.“Bruce Matson’s dedication to the Trail has been an inspiration to us all at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy,” said Tiffany Lawrence, vice president of membership and development for the ATC. “His efforts have helped spearhead our new crowdfunding platform, creating a way for all Appalachian Trail lovers to easily raise money to help protect the Trail for generations to come.”  “At this time of my life, it seems that the proper response is to be grateful and to try to give back,” says Matson. “That’s what I’m trying to do here, help make sure in my own small way that this footpath will be available to others with similar dreams.” You can follow in Matson’s footsteps at www.returningtokatahdin.com or on a weekly podcast entitled “Returning To Katahdin:  An Appalachian Trail Dream” (available on iTunes and elsewhere). Author, podcaster, and 2014 AT thru-hiker Steve Adams will be interviewing Matson each week about his progress along the Trail.last_img read more

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