Carrick-on-Shannon Family Life Centre open new premises

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News Reporter

Carrick-on-Shannon Family Life Centre open new premises

Pictured in the play therapy room are Rachel Brown, Majella McGovern, Nicola McCormack, Samanta Healy, Rosemary Cawley, Joe Lowe CEO LEO with Benny Fitzmaurice, Counsellor

Cathaoirleach of Leitrim County Council Cllr Enda McGloin officially opened new premises for the Carrick-on-Shannon Family Life Centre last Friday, November 29.

The Family Life Centre was founded in 2006 by Margaret Moolick and a team of volunteers in Presentation House. The Centre’s purpose was to provide a non-denominational Family Life Centre in the area, offering a counselling and psychotherapy services, particularly to those who could not afford to pay.

Pictured at the re-launch of Carrick-on-Shannon Family Life Centre, are Joe Lowe, Secretary, Mary Butler, Director, and John Feely, Chairperson Picture: Willie Donnellan

Due to financial constraints the Family Life Centre moved to the Hive for a temporary period. With extra funding from Tusla, the Centre expanded its service and moved to new premises on Main Street, Carrick-on-Shannon.

With Tusla support and local fundraising the Centre can now offer the following services:

• A specialised Play Therapy service providing therapeutic support to children from 3 years of age, two days per week with play therapist Rachel Browne.
• Play therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses play to help children deal with emotional and mental health issues. By using play as the medium, children are able to explore their feelings and share them with the therapist or the parents.
•Play therapy helps by creating a space that the child feels comfortable in; a room with different types of toys and play aids.

• The aids may include toys (for instance, a dollhouse with dolls depicting parents, grandparents and children, stuffed animals, puppets, or other toys) as well as art and craft material (paper, pens, colours, paints, and other stationery) through which the child can express themselves.

• The child is free to move around, explore the space and engage in any activity that they are interested in. This allows the child's preferences and needs dictate the course of the therapy, rather than the expert's pre-determined ideas of how the therapy should progress.

• A dedicated adolescent psychotherapy service for those aged 13 to 18 years, two days per week with psychotherapist Benny Fitzmaurice. Psychotherapy helps adolescents in a variety of ways. They receive emotional support, resolve conflicts with people, understand feelings and problems, and try out new solutions to old problems.

• Goals for therapy may be specific (change in behaviour, improved relations with friends or family), or more general (less anxiety, better self-esteem). The length of psychotherapy depends on the complexity and severity of problems.

• An adult counselling and psychotherapy service is available for adults three days per week with psychotherapist Noeleen Kelly as well as volunteer trainee counsellors. Counselling / psychotherapy can be of great support in times of crisis or change. Both counselling and psychotherapy involve the provision of professional assistance to people who are experiencing personal issues, in order to help alleviate those difficulties.

Pictured at the re-launch of Carrick-on-Shannon Family Life Centre, which is situated over Elegance Beauty Salon, Main Street, last Friday. Back row, from left, Joe Lowe, Secretary, Mary Butler, Director, Deputy Eamon Scanlon, Rachel Brown, Play Therapist, Benny Fitzmaurice, Counsellor, Rosemary Cawley, Administrator, and Mary Hennigan, Governance Consultant. Front row, from left, John Feely, Chairperson, Noeleen Kelly, Counselling Coordinator, and Cllr Enda McGloin, Cathaoirleach, Leitrim County Council, who performed the official opening Picture: Willie Donnellan

All of the counsellors are suitably qualified and accredited with recognised accrediting bodies for counselling and psychotherapy.

The main objective is to provide adequate counselling services to support families and individuals through counselling, education and training.

They provide services to those presenting with depression or other mental health issues leading to suicidal thoughts/intent, addiction problems, relationship issues, financial problems, bullying, bereavement, and sexual identity issues.

Cllr McGloin expressed his great honour and privilege to be asked to officially open the new offices of Carrick-on-Shannon family life centre by the committee who he paid a warm tribute to including chairman John Feely, Secretary Joe Lowe alongside Mary Butler, Mary Hennigan and Margaret Cox.

The Cathaoirleach thanked their committee for giving of their free time so that the centre can exist as a service and prosper for the benefit of many vulnerable families not only in South Leitrim but across the general region, “it is great to see volunteerism in action here.

“I am deeply impressed to hear of the wide variety of services offered to people from ages 3 to late adult led by Noeleen Kelly and her team of Benny and Rachael, we have learned at first hand the type of challenges that the team here have to deal with especially children who have some very difficult physiological issues.”

“The service provided here strengthens the fabric of our community as we strive to take care of the must vulnerable members of our community, as Cathaoirleach of Leitrim County Council it is important to recognise the work done to provide vital services for those in most need in society so that the clients here especially children will be mentally stronger as they face their future lives living in Leitrim and beyond” concluded Cllr McGloin.

If you wish to avail of any of the services, please contact Noeleen on (086) 0295031 or (071) 9621791. The Centre is located on Main Street, Carrick-on-Shannon (above Elegance Beauty Salon).