Children as young as seven accessing mental health services, charity claims

Children as young as seven accessing mental health services, charity claims

Sarah Slater

Children as young as seven accessed mental health counselling services last year, according to a mental health charity.

The demand for counselling and psychotherapy services increased by 25 per cent last year due to Covid-19 restrictions claims MyMind, as more than 35,000 sessions were delivered throughout 2020, in comparison to 28,000 in 2019 and 20,000 the previous year.

According to the charity’s annual report for last year, MyMind worked with people as young as seven-years-old with the average age of those seeking sessions being 34.

The most prevalent issues that were addressed in 2020 were anxiety (26 per cent), depression (25 per cent), relationship issues (15 per cent) and stress (8 per cent). They found the conditions brought on by Covid-19 were a large contributing factor to these issues.

MyMind is a community-based mental health service that works towards giving every person in Ireland equal access to mental health support by offering their services on a discounted scale based on a person’s employment status.

The counselling service has five centres nationwide— three in Dublin and one each in Limerick and Cork, with over 100 therapists delivering a range of therapeutic approaches in up to 15 languages.

Online services

Krystian Fikert, Founder of MyMind said: “Pre-Covid annual appointments were at 28,000 per annum with 95 per cent of those sessions being face-to-face. However, since the pandemic, this has completely flipped, more than 77 per cent of sessions were delivered online, and even during less restricted periods, client preferences still favoured the online environment.

“We deliver all remote sessions through our secure, online platform. No video conferencing apps are necessary. The shift over the last year to remote sessions has been phenomenal. We’ve been able to reach more people across Ireland and our services have also been accessible by those in the most rural locations.”

Ms Fikert added: “With the effects brought by Covid-19 restrictions, counselling and psychotherapy has never been in more demand, so we are delighted to have been able to offer these services without barriers to those who need them most.”

MyMind has delivered more than 15,000 free counselling and psychotherapy sessions since June 2020. These free sessions were facilitated through funding provided by Sláintecare and the HSE, which has been further extended to September 2021.

MyMind offers an extensive range of therapies from cognitive behavioural therapy to humanistic counselling, in an affordable and direct manner that is accessible to anyone.

For more information or to access the range of services please go to MyMind.Org

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