PIETA HOUSE has said it is pausing its temporary cuts to therapists’ hours, following the additional cash flow support funding from the HSE, announced on Monday.
The mental health charity announced recently that the service is managing a significant budget shortfall in 2020 of around €6.5m, as a result of the loss of its Darkness into Light event.
According to Pieta employees, the organisation decided to cut therapist hours, as well as cutting the pay of therapists by 30% in April.
Pieta House said that the measures were needed to ensure that the delivery of services to clients can be protected now, and over the long term.
Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly TD, has since confirmed that increased funding is to be provided by the HSE to Pieta House.
This cash flow funding is in addition to the continuation of the existing HSE funding of €2.03m per year.
The HSE and Pieta House have agreed to additional funding of €114,608 per month, equivalent to €343,824 per quarter once the current Government staffing cost schemes, of which Pieta House is availing, have ceased.
A spokesperson for Pieta House said: “Our Darkness Into Light Sunrise appeal has just finished, and we have been humbled by the generosity of the public response to this initiative.
“The people of Ireland have responded to our difficult and challenging situation and for that, we are most grateful.”
The spokesperson said that the overall Sunrise appeal raised €4m, as well as a great deal of awareness for the charity.
“The funds generated exceeded all of our expectations and we are now reviewing how to best allocate these funds so that we deliver as many free therapy sessions as possible from all of our Pieta centres nationwide, including Cork.”
Addressing the proposed cuts to therapists’ hours, the spokesperson said these cuts will form part of a quarterly review that has been agreed along with the funding for Pieta House, and will not be progressed further at this point pending the outcome of the review.
“We will have this review completed in the coming weeks, and will have more information to share with you then about the centres nationwide including Cork, and the free counselling services for those in need.”
Pieta provides free therapy to those engaging in self-harm, with suicidal ideation, or bereaved by suicide. To contact them call 1800247247 or text ‘HELP’ to 51444.