The closure of vital mental health service in South Dublin will be “horrendously hard on people” after 28 years of providing therapy.
Dublin South-Central TD, Brid Smith has urged the Government to keep the vital mental health service in Inchicore open.
Hesed House on Tyrconnell Road which provides counselling for depression, anxiety, abuse (sexual, physical and psychological), bereavement, separation and child and adolescence has closed after nearly three decades of service.
It permanently closed this week on May 24.
Ms Smith believes that the removal of this service will significantly impact people in the already deprived area.
The People Before Profit TD told Dublin Live: “It’s going to be horrendously hard on people because it’s a service that has about 80 to 100 people of all ages coming to its doors each week.
“It would be a devastating loss to a very local community that suffers a lot from socioeconomic deprivation which relies on this service.
“It’s been there for 28 years and it’s a really cruel blow to the community in Inchicore.
“There’s people on the verge of suicide and this is what they’re facing. What are they going to do?
“These people cannot afford to go private and you’re looking at three to four year waiting for an urgency in the service to get counselling and help to stabilise and maintain themselves through difficult times.
“The closure of this place may not only be that new clients won’t be able to go through the doors, it’ll mean anyone who was using their service could be set back years and years as a result of that closure.
“People have been trying to cope with the consequences of COVID during the last year and a half.
“I don’t know what they’ll do with the 80 to 100 people that require counselling and mental health services, there’s nowhere to put them. The services in Ballyfermot are choking with overcrowded conditions.”
Ms Smith spoke on the issue in the Dail today in the hopes that the Government can do something about this issue.
She explained: “I made the point to the Taoiseach that this is in the heart of an already deprived area, and yet, all we’ve heard for the last year is that himself and his ministers were ‘when we reopen there’s going to be damage to people’s mental health.’”
“They acknowledge it and they know about it, but yet they’re willing to see this service close down.
“He expressed surprise, he said they put an extra €10 million into mental health, in particular, community mental health, he said he doesn’t know why it’s happening and a minister will get back to me straight away.”
Many people in the community rely on the service Hesed House provides and the People Before Profit TD believes that its removal will impact so many people in the area, both staff and those who use the facility.
“I understand that the youth services and the schools rely on them because there’s a problem with mental health services in general.
“There aren’t enough of them and it’s difficult to get into them, it’s difficult to get regular service too.
“When the youth services of the schools have a really bad case or families have a bad case, they go to Hesed House, the door is always open to them so it’s vital for them.
“There’s six members of staff there that deliver a really good service and they’re 28 years in the area.”
A spokeswoman from the HSE told Dublin Live: “It was an independent decision of the Board of Management of Hesed House, to cease operating.
“The HSE are willing and keen to work with the liquidator to support the transfer of clients to other appropriate organisations.”
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