Celebrating 10 Years of Irish Innovation in Online Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
The world’s first online mental health service, Turn2me.org was founded in 2009 stemming from the very personal experiences of brothers Oisin and Diarmuid Scollard who lost their brother to suicide. They had a brave new idea: what if there was an online professional mental health service that you could turn to 24/7, 365 days a year free and accessible across all devices for everyone in need?
10 years later, with the support of the HSE’s National Office for Suicide Prevention and the nationwide Connecting for Life strategy we have over 90,000 members and counting across Ireland and the globe.
Turn2me’s innovation is not only technological but clinical – offering a confidential, professional early intervention approach to mental health care that is psychosocial in scope. A stepped care service that offers people the services they need where and when they need it most: whether that be psychoeducation and clinically moderated peer support, clinically facilitated online support groups or individual counselling online. These three integrated services provide professional support on a wide range of mental health issues ranging from anxiety, stress, depression and suicidal thoughts and feelings to family conflict, LGBTQ+ mental health, relationship and work issues. Turn2me’s team of fully accredited counsellors and psychotherapists work across all counties of Ireland and, thanks to the HSE and NOSP, all services are free and directly accessible to everyone resident in Ireland aged 18+ – all you need to do is visit www.turn2me.org and set up a free account and you have a team of professional counsellors at your service.
And if that’s not enough to shout about – this year we are joining forces with our sister organisation ReachOut Ireland to extend this much needed service to young people aged 12+, couples and parents nationwide in early 2020. Also established in 2009, ReachOut Ireland are the Irish pioneers in the provision of youth and parent mental health literacy and promotion – a trusted, professional online resource that offers high quality, evidence based mental health information and guidance to help young people aged 12-25 get through tough times. And now, building on ReachOut Ireland’s 10 years of psychoeducation services and the support of the Department of Health and SlainteCare, the new expanded Turn2me team is excited to announce a groundbreaking new initiative that will pilot its full suite of award winning 24/7 online professional mental health services for young people aged 12+ with wrap around online parent, couples and family support launching in early 2020.
Turn2me celebrated its 10th anniversary at a special World Mental Health Day event of comedy, music and fundraising at WeWork Harcourt Road with our colleagues, supporters, friends and family. Ten years ago Turn2me identified the need to get talking to help break the stigma around mental health. Now just as then, together with our colleagues nationwide, we continue our commitment to clinical and technological innovation so that everyone in Ireland can gain the professional mental health services they need free of charge from the comfort of their couch: wherever they are, whenever they need us, for whatever they’re going through.
Here’s to the next 10 years. Come on Ireland – let’s work together to convert talk into action to tackle mental health issues before they become mental health crises.