Aspen “inundated” with suicide calls

Mullingar's Aspen Counselling Services has recently been “inudated” with calls from people with suicidal tendencies according to its founder Pat Gavin.Speaking to the Westmeath Examiner this week, Mr Gavin said that many of the calls received in recent months have been from people worried about their changing financial circumstances. While the not for profit counselling service has never been busier, Mr Gavin said that, so far, his organisation “hasn't refused anyone yet”.Aspen's cause received a major boost recently when it received a €10,000 donation from the ESB's Electric Aid fund. This new funding has been earmarked to ensure that Aspen can support people who are at risk of suicide and implement suicide prevention to support individuals and families within the community. Praising the ESB for its generosity, Mr Gavin said that the money will help Aspen provide services for those most in need.“We are there for people in the community who may be in difficulty. We want people to realise that there is always someone to talk to. It is very important that people are aware of services within the community, particularly when crisis situations arise. The staff within Aspen endeavour to provide a professional quality counselling and psychotherapy service to our clients and provide a safe, confidential space whereby individuals, couples and families may engage in the therapeutic process,” Mr Gavin said.One positive that has emerged in recent months, the Aspen founder noted, is that an increasing number of men appear to have realised that there is no shame attached to seeking help for mental health problems.Although Aspen's staff have been busy working in the area of suicide prevention, Mr Gavin was eager to point out that Aspen provides a general counselling service for all the family and while it could not be described as a free service, consultation fees are tailored to meet the budget of the client.To contact Aspen phone 044 9336027 or 086 7760550. Alternately you can Email Aspen: or visit its website: