Wellness on a Budget: Affordable Mental Health Resources in Cork City

UCC Counselling 

UCC provides up to six free counseling sessions for students, and you can make an appointment by emailing counselling@ucc.ie. This service is entirely free of charge and conveniently located on UCC’s main campus- the only factors to take into consideration are the fact that the wait times can occasionally be quite long due to high demand, and that UCC counselors are better equipped to help students with mild mental health issues (eg. academic stress, relationship troubles, etc) as opposed to serious psychiatric disorders. If you urgently need to see a counselor or suffer from a severe mental health issue, you might find it more helpful to use a different service or to obtain a referral to another agency from your GP.

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MyMind 

MyMind is a service that provides affordable, community-based care to those suffering from mental health issues. MyMind provides counseling and psychotherapy to individuals, children, couples, and families at reduced rates. For example, one hour, in-person sessions normally cost €50, but that rate is lowered to €20 per session if you can provide evidence that you are unemployed, retired, or a full-time student enrolled in a 3rd level institution (this can be done simply by showing them your student card!). Booking an appointment with MyMind is incredibly easy because the entire process can be done online. You can also browse their list of qualified counselors and psychotherapists on their website and choose the one who you think is best suited to your needs. 

MyMind has also announced that they’ll be launching free online counseling sessions for people who are suffering from mental health-related issues caused, or exacerbated by, the COVID-19 pandemic. You may be eligible for free online counseling if you present with “COVID-19 related mental health issues (e.g. bereavement, social isolation/cocooning, illness, stress, depression, anxiety, addiction, domestic violence, etc).” You’re also eligible if you’re a “front-line worker in a medical setting, employed with low income, unemployed due to COVID-19, bereaved resulting from COVID-19, over the age of 65, or cocooning due to ill-health (regardless of age).”

You do not need a referral from a GP to use MyMind’s services, and more information can be found on MyMind.org. The MyMind centre in Cork is located at Unit 6, South Bank, Crosse’s Green, The Lough, Cork City.

Pieta House 

Pieta House is a mental health organization that specializes in assisting people who are struggling with suicidal ideation, self-harm, or bereavement brought on by the suicide of a loved one. Admitting to a friend, family member, counselor, or psychiatrist that you’re experiencing suicidal ideation is very difficult and incredibly nerve-wracking. This is why Pieta House is such a uniquely beneficial service- when a person walks into their first appointment, the counselor is already expecting that patient to be struggling with suicidal ideation or self-harm. With that barrier broken down, it makes opening up an honest and healthy dialogue with your counselor much, much easier, which will lead to you receiving the proper care.

Pieta House is also entirely free of charge and you can attend up to twelve free sessions. The organization also manages a helpline, which is staffed by licensed therapists twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. You can contact the helpline by calling 1800 247 247, or by texting HELP to 51444. Once on the line, a qualified and experienced counselor will be available to speak with you and explain the services offered by Pieta House, and your conversation is entirely confidential. All appointments and conversations had with a staff member at Pieta House are kept private, with the only exception being that emergency services will be contacted if you tell your counselor that you are planning to harm yourself, or if they have any other reason to believe that you are in immediate danger. 

To schedule an appointment at the Pieta House located in Cork City at Shanakiel, Sunday’s Well, call (021) 4395333. More information can be found on Pieta.ie. 

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Cork Counselling Services  

Cork Counselling Services offers counseling and psychotherapy services in Cork City. Patients can self-refer themselves to this service and upon the completion of an initial assessment, can schedule further appointments or be referred to another agency that specializes in crisis intervention or the treatment of more specific issues, such as eating disorders, abuse, or addiction. Each session normally costs 60 euro, but Cork Counselling Services operates on a sliding scale in which patients will only be asked to pay what they’re able to. Reduced rates are typically 30 or 40 euro, but the centre encourages potential clients to never let their inability to pay deter them from pursuing counseling with this service, so together with your counselor, you can determine how much you can afford at your initial consultation. 

More information can be found at Corkcounsellingservices.ie, and they can be reached at 021-4274951. The center is located at 7 Father Matthew Street in Cork City, near the Cork College of Commerce.