Irish Abroad Online Counselling Service (IAOCS) – supporting Irish citizens living abroad with their emotional support needs 7 days a week!
This service is also available for returning Irish emigrants (must have 1st appointment within 3 months of return).
Over the past seven years our Irish based, Garda vetted Counsellors have been supporting the Irish abroad that have been experiencing the following: bullying, depression, loneliness, lack of a familiar support structure, transitional stress and anxiety, displacement, self-esteem and addiction issues…
From listening to the needs of our clients’ through their stories and analysing current and previous research, we have found that Diaspora (emigrants) are very unlikely to make use of counselling services in their adopted country of residence. Those who attempt to engage report barriers experienced with culturally unaware counsellors making the counselling process more difficult among other aspects.
With the assistance of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the support of the GAA and An Post, Helplink launched our free online counselling service on September 10th 2016; initially for Irish citizens in Australia and in Canada. In 2018 appointments for this much needed service became available for Irish citizens across the globe (time zone dependent).
This is a free service for Irish citizens living abroad and now, since 2019, Irish citizens can also avail of the service when they are returning to Ireland. For Irish returning emigrants they can self-refer directly to us or they can also go through our referral partners Crosscare Migrant Project, Safe Home Ireland and the Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas – click on the links to go to their websites.
I was going through a very difficult time in my life. Things were falling apart for me and I needed help. Through the hard work and dedication of this team I managed to get myself back together again. I met an amazing person who didn’t judge me but instead offered a listen ear and very good advice. I felt these people genuinely wanted to help me and cared a great deal about my life. I will be forever in their debt as they were that helping hand which I so badly needed. Things don’t always work out as planned but for now the future seems that bit brighter
I recently finished my 6 counselling sessions with this service and just want to express my sincere gratitude for this service. Emma Tynan provided excellent support and I found the service very helpful as I navigate the emotional aspects of emigration. I emigrated to Canada over 6 years ago and found that many local support forums for Irish emigrants focus on the logistical and practical aspects of emigration but not the impact on mental health. So I'm very happy to see that this service is provided by your organisation and supported by the Irish government. Please pass on my sincere gratitude to all your team and project partners.
Want to book an appointment?
Click here to go to our ‘Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page‘ to see how!
People are free to refer themselves by going to the contact page on this website and emailing us with your name and location. You can also be referred through any Irish support organisation, Irish Embassy and/or Consulate.
In order for us to continue to bring this free service to all Irish citizens abroad, we need sponsorship/funding from; individuals who are interested in helping their fellow citizens abroad, from organisations that support the Irish abroad and from Irish owned companies at home and abroad.
Please note: These services are NOT crisis services.
If you or someone you know is seriously contemplating suicide or in need of immediate help you/they should:
Click here to see a list of helplines across Australia or you/they should go to their local A&E; or Dial ‘000’ for emergency assistance in Australia.
Click here to see a list of crisis centers and contact numbers across Canada or you/they should go to their local A&E; or Dial ‘911’ for emergency assistance in Canada.
Click here to see a list of crisis centers and contact numbers across the U.S.A or you/they should go to their local A&E; or Dial ‘911’ for emergency assistance in the U.S.A.
Rest of the world:
Click here for a list of individual countries’ crisis hotlines.
Click here for a list of individual countries’ crisis services.
Or if you/they would like to contact the Irish Samaritans click here as their email contact system works worldwide.