We think it is courageous to ask for help. If this is something that you want to do, then here’s a few places we’d recommend you try. It’s by no means a complete list of what’s available, but it should get you going.
(Note: We have used some words and content from these organisations’ own websites. This is why it doesn’t sound like just us as you read through the following article.)
Irish specific support services
icap was founded in 1996 by Teresa Gallagher. When she began working in the UK, Teresa realised that there was a strong stigma attached to mental ill health amongst the Irish community, particularly in older Irish women and men. Depression and anxiety were often denied or minimised, and help only sought when ‘feeling a bit down’ had turned into a major mental health crisis or condition. Teresa founded icap to encourage these people to address their issues in a safe and non-judgemental environment. icap has been successful in tackling this strong stigma through its culturally sensitive therapeutic approach coupled with strong partnerships with Irish welfare organisations, alcohol and mental health services for nearly 20 years.
icap provides counselling and psychotherapy. These are commonly called the ‘talking therapies’. They can help people to deal with unhappiness, distress or difficult life issues in a way that is personal to them. One in four of us experience mental health problems at some stage in life, and, just as someone might seek medical help for a physical problem, counselling and psychotherapy at icap can help to deal with emotional problems.
Talking with a trained and experienced professional in a safe, confidential, non-judgemental space can help people understand the causes of their distress and pain. Being able to link feelings to patterns of behaviour which affect our relationships can enable us to make the changes we need to make and to move on with our lives. Counselling and psychotherapy can help with depression, low self-esteem, bereavement, stress and unhappiness.
Call them on 020 7272 7906.
Counselling | Culturally sensitive | One-to-one | Talking therapy
London Irish Centre
The London Irish Centre supports Irish community and culture in London. They do this through managing a large welfare service, which offers support to Irish people of all ages, and by running Irish cultural and community events of all shapes and sizes.
The Irish community in London is not a homogenous one, and has a wide range of needs. London Irish Centre supports this community through a responsive, accessible and wide-reaching welfare service, which offers advice in housing, benefits and employment.
The London Irish Centre embodies what Irish people do best – those that have, helping those that need. I’d encourage everyone to support their work.
Patrick Kielty, comedian
This support is offered to Irish people of all ages, from older Irish emigrants to recent arrivals, who need help in getting started in London. For more on Moving to London, take a look at the Moving to London section of their website.
- In 2013, London Irish Centre helped more than 13,000 welfare clients
- They have over 150 volunteers
- 30,000 people are connected to their online communities
- Over 25,000 people experience Irish and culture with them every year
The London Irish Centre carries out crucial work in supporting the most vulnerable members of the city’s Irish community. I am proud to endorse the charity’s work, and would encourage others to do the same.Eddie Jordan, Jordan Grand Prix
Please get in touch if you think the London Irish Centre can help or if you need further information.
Activities | Culture | Events | Groups | Irish | Learning | Welfare
Mind Yourself support Irish people in London who want to improve or maintain their physical or mental health.They do this by providing health related one-to-one support (information, advice and advocacy), accompaniment to health related appointments, and group activities.
You can refer yourself or you can refer a friend or family member. If you referring someone else, you must have their consent to do so.
Call them on 020 7697 4753.
Activities | Advice | Groups | One-to-one | Social | Talking therapy
The reality of life in Britain today for many Irish emigrants is not the migrant’s dream. Many of those who came to England in the 1950s and 1960s face isolation and severe poverty; over 1,000 Irish men and women are in custody; and Irish Travellers remain among the most marginalised groups in society.
The Irish Chaplaincy in Britain is one of the oldest Irish charities in the UK. For nearly 60 years they have been providing practical support to the Irish Community in Britain.
They offer three main service:
- Seniors Project
A home-visiting and befriending project to prevent and alleviate social exclusion and loneliness among older Irish people in London.
- Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas
A prison visiting, information and advocacy project working with Irish prisoners in Britain and their families.
- Traveller Equality Project
An advocacy and outreach project committed to promoting the self-empowerment of Gypsies and Irish Travellers particularly within the criminal justice system.
Call them on 020 7482 5528.
Advice | Home visits | Irish traveller and gypsy | Older people | One-to-one | Prisoner | Religious sensitivity
West Hampstead Women’s Centre
West Hampstead Women’s Centre (WHWC) has provided a supportive, women only space since 1984. Building a brighter future for women, giving them the opportunity to thrive. They have a dedicated Irish women’s group.
They support marginalised women’s journeys, however traumatic, into the mainstream and they work to bring communities together.
For many women just walking into the Centre can be a big step but once they arrive they realise that they are in a safe and supportive environment.
The aims and objectives of West Hampstead Women’s Centre are:
- To promote any charitable purpose for the benefit of women in and around the area known as Camden
- To help with the advancement of education, the protection of health and the relief of sickness and distress
- To promote recreation and leisure activities in the interest of social welfare and in order to improve their quality of life
- To relieve poverty among women in the London borough of Camden by the provision of advice and information about health, welfare, housing and other social benefits
- To provide a welcome to all women from all cultures, ages, backgrounds, beliefs and status
- To offer a place for women to come together to discover their similarities and to learn from their differences
- To provide a safe and supportive space for all women
Call them on 020 7328 7389.
Activities | Advice | Domestic violence | Groups | Health service | Job seeking | Learning and classes | One-to-one | Social Welfare
Aisling – Return to Ireland
The aims of the Aisling Project are:
- Reaching out to Irish people who are vulnerable, isolated and alone.
- Providing supported holidays in Ireland for long-term emigrants, fulfilling what is for many a dream of seeing their homeland again.
- Helping long-term emigrants reconnect with their families and friends.
- Helping long-term emigrants resettle in Ireland.
- Offering a friendly supportive service in an environment that encourages self-worth and personal development.
- Building trust in order to develop future support and continuing friendship.
Call them on 0207 485 7030.
Advice | Home visits | Outreach | Resettle | Visit Ireland | Welfare
Other talking therapies
iCope provides free, confidential help for problems such as stress, worry, depression and insomnia.There are times when everyone feels stressed or unhappy. Generally these bad times pass, but sometimes there are problems that do not go away and things get harder and harder. At some point in their life, one in four people feel this way.
Talking about your problems really can help.
iCope: Camden and Islington Psychological Therapies Service can give you the time to talk. They offer therapies for adults of all ages, from young to old. iCope can help you learn ways to help yourself so that you feel more able to cope with your problems.
Call them on 020 3317 5600.
CBT | Groups | Mindfulness | One-to-one | Psychological therapy | Talking therapy
Big White Wall
A safe online community of people who are anxious, down or not coping who support and help each other by sharing what’s troubling them, guided by trained professionals.
Available 24/7, Big White Wall is completely anonymous so you can express yourself freely and openly. Professionally trained Wall Guides ensure the safety and anonymity of all members.
Watch this quick 2 minute video to find out how Big White Wall works.
Big White Wall is available free in many areas of the UK via the NHS, employers, and universities. It is also free to all UK serving personnel, veterans, and their families.
Visit them here: www.bigwhitewall.com.
Anonymous | CBT | One-to-one | Peer support | Talking therapy | Web based
Ieso Digital Health
Ieso Digital Health provides evidence-based mental health therapy online.Discreet one-to-one therapy is delivered in real time using written (typed) conversation, with people meeting an accredited therapist in a secure virtual therapy room, at a time and location that is both convenient and comfortable for them.
The Ieso service provides a comfortable environment for people dealing with common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
Therapy via written (typed) conversation can benefit people
- Who are embarrassed or hesitant about therapy due to the perceived shame of having a mental health problem
- Who want to access therapy discreetly
- Who want to retain a record of therapy for easy review
Call them on 01954 230066. Visit them here.
CBT | One-to-one | Talking therapy | Web based
Lee Vale Health
Lea Vale Health provide a range of talking therapies in the Camden area. This is a free and confidential NHS service for those struggling to deal with depression, anxiety, phobias and other emotional problems.Lea Vale Health have a team of professional, experienced therapists ready to assist. They can identify the right treatment for you and guide you through it. Services such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Counselling and Guided Self Help can help you understand your problems and identify ways to cope.
Whether it’s yourself or a loved one you are concerned about, get in touch, they are ready to help.
Call them on 01582 456677.
CBT | Counselling | Guided self-help | One-to-one | Talking therapy
Social meetup groups
Meetup.com is a website which allows people to start their own interest groups. Once up, others can join. This results in many groups, large and small, mainstream and niche. There are plenty of Irish groups.
If you search for “Irish” and “London” on Meetup.com, then this is what you get.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Meetup.com is a public site and we do not offer any quality or safety assurances for any of the groups on it. We do not offer any recommendation and you join groups at your own risk.
Groups | Interest groups | Social
Meet new people, make new friends and try new things with OurCamden, the social club which helps its members enjoy this great borough to the fullest. From afternoon teas to curry nights, samba classes to soul clubs, theatre visits to day trips, there’s plenty to do while saving money with local businesses at the same time.
At the heart of OurCamden membership is the Members’ Calendar.
This is where you get to meet new people and try new things. About a third of Our Camden’s activities are at no extra cost to members, with another third costing less than a tenner.
On the Calendar you’ll find our hosted events.
On the Calendar you’ll find our hosted events. It might be there’s a group of us going to a special event, or we’ve organised an event for Members.OurCamden.org
There will always be someone from OurCamden acting as a host (that might be another Member or a Member of the team).
Occasionally, and often at short notice, OurCamden will have a “Shout Out Event”. These are events a member has told OurCamden they are going to and want to offer the opportunity for others to join them.
The calendar is always changing, with things being added all the time, so do not miss out. Keep coming back for a look!
Call them on 0203 488 0020.