Good2Talk: “A warm, homely, friendly place”

Veronica Zywicka, Hayley McDermott, Mick O'Rourke (Deputy Principal of Templemichael College), Cara Fearon, and Eileen Kennedy at a walk organised by Good2Talk for World Suicide Prevention Day. Photo: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie
41% of the clientele who have accessed services at Good2Talk, Mullingar have had suicide ideation.

41% of the clientele who have accessed services at Good2Talk, Mullingar have had suicide ideation.

That staggering fact came from Siobhan Leijan, Managing Therapist at Good2Talk Longford.

“That is huge,” she added. “There has been nothing like that ever recorded, so I think we’re an extremely positive organisation in that respect... in the respect of saving lives.”

Opened in April of this year, Good2Talk, located at Keon’s Terrace provide a counselling and psychotherapy support service to people of any age in areas including depression, bereavement/loss, anxiety and addiction.

The cost is capped at €25 and Siobhan is keen to point out that services provided in times of crisis, such as suicide interventions, suicide prevention programmes or a tragic loss are absolutely free.

A native of Killashee, Siobhan (née Geraghty) recognised the need for this service in Longford, and has been extremely pleased with the feedback and support received.

“There was a such a great response, people were just genuinely so interested in Good2Talk, in what we were offering the community and the mission that we wanted to achieve, which was of course to reduce the number of suicides in our town and county and relinquish the stigma attached to accessing mental health services.”

Open from 9.30am to 5.30pm, with late appointments available, Good2Talk is a beautiful, open and warm building.

The rooms are bright and spacious, with huge, comfortable armchairs and plenty of privacy. Arguably the best part of the building is its location. Being in Longford, Siobhan revealed that Good2Talk is also extremely accessible to people in the surrounding counties.

“There’s such a lovely feel when you come into this place, because we all want to be here for the greater good of society,” Siobhan smiled. Good2Talk Longford is run by a team of 11 volunteers; six therapists (all qualified in different areas) and five on reception. There are also a further eleven volunteers who help out with organising and running events.

These events include last week’s stall at Longford Indoor Market, during which Good2Talk sold items donated by members of the public.

Overwhelmed by the donations received, Siobhan added her thanks to Joan Hannon for donating beautiful crystal pieces, as well as a lady who gave a beautiful hand-made Postman Pat doll.

There is a huge emphasis on positive mental health too, with a huge variety of fun events on the way to raise funds and awareness for this vital service.

For World Mental Health Week, the group will be in town on October 9 and 10 with musical entertainment to get “a good, positive feel throughout the town”.

As well as a Good2Laugh night, they’re also masterminding a Mystery Chef event, and Siobhan specifically called on Longford County Council Cathaoirleach Gerry Warnock, a supporter of the organisation, to join in the fun.

“The idea behind it is that we will ask a restaurant to take on our celebrity chefs and teach them a couple of dishes between now and Christmas. Then we’ll sell tickets for the event and the people in the restaurant will rate the meal that they got and also try to guess who cooked their meal,” Siobhan explained.

Thanking all who have supported them from the beginning, Siobhan acknowledged Josephine Stroker, Kat Mahon, Charlie McGettigan, Josephine Rigney, Mary Smith, Peter Masterson, Templemichael College, Brendan Doyle, Liz Kane, Gerry Duffy, Revamp, Angela and Terry from Longford Volunteer Centre, Elania Moreas from Smart PA, volunteers, and all those who have volunteered, donated, bought tickets or supported the organisation in any way.

Concluding, Siobhan added, “we want to get out there in the community we want to connect with people. We want people to know we’re here and that it’s a warm, homely, friendly place to come.”

To get in touch with Good2Talk, or to volunteer, call 043 33 47477, email siobhan@good2talk.ie or pop in for a visit - the door is always open.