May 18, 2021

‘We are not leaving Waterford’ – Pieta House to continue counselling services despite €6.5m shortfall

Pieta House will continue to offer counselling services in Waterford, the mental health charity has confirmed.

Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Pieta House is expected to suffer a shortfall in 2020 of approx €6.5 million due to the postponement of Darkness into Light which was due to take place Saturday morning.

Instead, thousands of people around the country and hundreds in Waterford took part in Saturday’s Sunrise.

Last month, the charity announced 28 redundancies and salary reductions of up to 30% for all staff to ensure that the delivery of services to clients.

“We understand this is a very difficult time for our dedicated staff and we deeply regret having to take this step,” Pieta CEO, Elaine Austin, said.

“With the loss of our flagship annual fundraising event, Darkness into Light, we have been left with a very significant funding gap and in order to keep our doors open to clients, we must make these very difficult decisions.

“Our current fundraising campaigns, including Sunrise and the recent Concert for Hope, are very important and we would appeal to the general public to support them as much as possible as this will help us maintain vital services to our clients.

“Pieta can assure all its supporters and clients that it will continue to offer counselling services in Waterford. Furthermore we will continue to provide our service through our 15 locations, plus our four outreach locations, nationwide.

“This support is currently being implemented via phone based therapy due to the Covid-19 lockdown. We know how critical our free counselling is to communities which are affected by the devastating impact of suicide and self-harm. Pieta will continue to support these communities, and communities across Ireland, into the future.”

Pieta remains committed to helping vulnerable people who are experiencing suicidal ideation, self-harm or who are bereaved by suicide through our 24/7 crisis helpline 1800 247 247.  


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