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An Garda Síochána Introduces 24/7 Independent Counselling Service

for Garda members, civilian staff and reserves

An Garda Síochána has introduced a 24/7 Independent Counselling Service for Garda, civilian and reserve members on the Friday, 24th June 2016.

The free service will provide employees with immediate support from accredited counsellors over the phone and then, if needed, up to eight face-to-face counselling sessions. These face-to-face sessions will take place in a location within one hour of the employee’s home or place of work.

The confidential service will provide counselling on a wide range of work and personal related issues including critical incidents, trauma, financial, relationships, bereavement, stress, conflict, and health. It will be available 24/7 for 365 days a year.

The Independent Counselling Service will be delivered by EAP Consultants/Carecall who have specialist knowledge of working with policing and security personnel having worked with the Police Service Northern Ireland, Defence Forces, the Prisons Service, and the Probation Board.

The 24/7 Counselling Service is in addition to other supports available to Garda personnel. These include the Garda Employee Assistance Service, which supports members in managing and resolving personal and work-related difficulties, and our Peer Support Network, which has 847 appropriately trained Garda members available to any colleague who has experienced a traumatic incident in the work place, as well as the support provided by An Garda Síochána Chief Medical Officer. 

Launching the service today, Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan said, “A key element of An Garda Síochána’s Modernisation and Renewal Programme is ensuring the psychological and physical wellbeing of our members, staff and reserves. That is why today’s introduction of a 24/7 Independent Counselling Service for all personnel in An Garda Síochána is so vital.

“We work in a unique profession where we are confronted by major challenges every day that can test us to the limit physically and mentally. In order for us to perform at our best we need help and support. We cannot do it alone.

“I would urge every member, staff and reserve in An Garda Síochána who is feeling stressed or under pressure to pick up the phone and call the confidential 24/7 Counselling Service where your concerns will be listened to with care, professionalism and compassion.”

Professor Peter McBride, Group CEO of the Niamh Group (Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health) said, “EAP Consultants / Carecall (who are part of the Niamh Group) are delighted that we have the opportunity to work with An Garda Síochána in supporting its people given the extremely important work they do in protecting and serving the community.”