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Offaly Traveller Counselling Service

Offaly Traveller Counselling Service

OTM provides a culturally inclusive counselling service to indivuals, couples, children and families that is accessable, safe and confidential and that addresses the needs of the Traveller community in Offaly.

It is well documented that Travellers in Ireland experience poorer mental health and are at higher risk of suicide than their settled counterparts. Suicide rates for Travellers are currently 7 times higher than the settled population (All Ireland Traveller Health Status Study, 2010). 

Unfortunately, Travellers have a poor uptake of mainstream services. They do however engage well with culturally specific services and this is an approach that OTM uses to bridge the gap and prepare individuals to engage with mainstream services.  Offaly Traveller Movement has built up trust and relationships for over 20 years with the Traveller community throughout Offaly, many of whom are very difficult to reach, and the most vulnerable people in Irish society today.

Given how vulnerable these clients are, the long waiting lists to access counselling for those who need it has been a barrier that has at times resulted in a disengagement with the service altogether.  In order to address this, OTM piloted a Traveller specific psychotherapy service for two years and this included an evaluation report My Geels Glorying 2016.

Following on from the success and recommendations of this report Offaly Traveller Movement  now offers relevant counselling to clients who are in crisis and require an immediate response to ensure that they are supported without delay and therefore continue to engage in order to improve their mental health and wellbeing. 

This is a partnership between Offaly Traveller Movement and the National Traveller Counselling Service.

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