8 Irish organisations that can help you if you are suffering from mental health problems
While it currently feels like our government isn't doing enough for people who suffer from poor mental health, there are many Irish organisations who are working hard to pick up the slack.
A Europe-wide report published in 2014 found that Ireland has an "exceptionally high" rate of suicide among young men and women. That same report also claimed that we "lack a national strategy on prevention."
It speaks volumes about the governmental attitude towards this problem that funding is now to be drained from the mental health budget and redirected elsewhere.
Fortunately, there are many organisations in Ireland that are dedicated to easing the pressure on people suffering from depression, anxiety and other illnesses.
The Pieta House centre for the prevention of self-harm or suicide has helped over 20,000 in Ireland suffering from mental illness. The group has eight centres nationwide. Three in Dublin (Finglas, Ballyfermot and Tallaght) as well as centres in Tipperary, Kerry, Limerick, Cork and Galway.
Pieta House can be contacted at (01) 6010000, after which they will organise a meeting with you in order to assess your needs. You'll be welcomed warmly, offered tea or coffee, and have a chat about what you are going through.
After this, Pieta House will match you with a therapist who you can see twice a week depending on your availability and whether you feel up to it. Sessions with your therapist will always be free of charge, and last for roughly 50 minutes.
Samaritans is a service that can be used either if your situation feels more urgent, or if you feel like all you need is a good chat. There are 20 branches of Samaritans in Ireland with volunteers ready to answer the phone if you feel overwhelmed.
You can ring their helpline whether or not you have mental health issues, if you're worried about a friend, and even if you're under 18.
All conversations with Samaritans are off the record, and there is no need to give them any personal details.
There are different phone numbers for the different Samaritans branches. You can find your nearest Samaritans branch here.
Aware have a support line for anyone who is worried about depression, which operates from 10am to 10pm, seven days a week, as well as a support mail service.
Aware also offer a suite of 'Wellness @Work' programmes that are ideal for helping your workplace understand the importance and value of looking after their mental health, and to use relevant coping skills to limit the impact of any challenges or concerns.
Aware also do work in schools, offering a Life Skills for Schools Programme which consists of six modules delivered to students by a professional trainer in the classroom over six weekly sessions.
Spunout is a youth information website dedicated to making sure that 16 to 25 year olds in Ireland - one of the most at-risk demographics - are empowered with the information they need to live active, happy, and healthy lives.
The website features opinion pieces, news pieces and quizzes about important issues like mental health, coping with exam stress, and how to go about finding a job.
If you feel like you need a bit of advice on something that's making your blood pressure rise, spend some time on SpunOut.ie
A Lust for Life
A Lust for Life is another collection of insightful articles that might help you better understand the problems that you are facing, and help you realise that you are living in a world full of people who can relate to what you are going through.
With Bressie's help, they are also putting on a beginner's triathlon in Mullingar this July in order to help people understand the relationship between body and mind - and emphasise the positive impact physical health and activity can have on the brain.
Reach Out is an Irish website full of blogs, videos and an Ask The Expert service that is encouraging young people to learn more about their mental wellbeing and empower them to take steps towards good mental health.
See Change is an alliance of organisations working together through the National Stigma Reduction Partnership to bring about positive change in public attitudes and behaviour towards people with mental health problems.
Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid is the help provided to a person developing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. The first aid is given until appropriate professional treatment is received or until the crisis resolves.
You can read a lot more about the services they provide here.
Remember, if you are feeling low - you are not alone. There are many people and organisations out there who will do their utmost to get you the help you need.