Pieta Meets with Taoiseach Micheál Martin to Discuss Increased Demand for its Services

28th October 2021: Pieta – the national charity for suicide prevention in – met with Taoiseach Micheál Martin yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) to discuss increased demand for its services and potential increase in government funding. Pieta offers suicide prevention, crisis counselling and bereavement counselling, of which 20% is currently funded by the state. Increased demand for suicide prevention counselling continues.

In their meeting with Taoiseach Martin, Pieta highlighted the need for a long-term funding model Pieta is 20% state-funded and relies on publicly funded donations to make up the remaining 80%.

Operating on a secure financial basis will ensure the following:

  • Access - Everyone can access Pieta’s services quickly and in their own communities

  • Reach - Adapting to further reach at-risk and vulnerable groups

  • Integration & Partnership - Continue to play an integral role in Ireland’s mental health services, building on the excellent partnerships with HSE and the Community and Voluntary Services sector, delivering quality care to people in need

  • Funding – Stability in Pieta funding so that the organisation can meet the demand for services which is ever increasing

Last year alone, Pieta received over 70,000 crisis calls and texts and delivered 52,000 hours of counselling. The charity expects the demand for its services to continue to rise. Specific funding is needed to support the access to services over phone, video, text etc.

Under 18’s now represents 36% of all Pieta clients, a significant increase on the 27% of clients from this age group in 2020. The impact of Covid on the mental health of young people was an integral part of the discussion with An Taoiseach.

Speaking following her meeting with Taoiseach Martin, Pieta CEO Elaine Austin, said; “We had a very positive meeting with the Taoiseach and discussed the challenges facing mental health services, and suicide prevention in particular, at this difficult time. He is very aware that Pieta is experiencing an increase in demand for its services and knows that younger people are coming to us in greater numbers. We continue to work in partnership with the HSE in delivering the best quality care. Since Pieta started in 2006, we’ve delivered face to face therapy to 65,000 people in suicidal crisis, and we want to ensure that we have the capacity to continuously increase the number of people we help daily.”

Elaine Austin (CEO Pieta), Celine Fitzgerald (Chair Pieta), Ray Burke (Advocacy & Public Engagement Manager), Denise Cronin (Director Finance & Operations), An Taoiseach.