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  • #15120


    Hi all,

    I really need your help, a brief run down of the situation is, I along with a large number of people in Ireland suffer from Social Anxiety, following the treat of budget cuts, the funds allocated to the Mater Hospital Social Anxiety group therapy is being pulled.

    I have attached a letter that I have sent to the relevant parties, to ask them to reconsider and to consider the detrimental affect it will have on people needing this therapy.

    If i could take your time to read the letter attached and maybe highlight this issue.

    I give you full rights to everything in this email and the Word Document attached, that you can use it as you see fit.

    This is the attachment:

    For the attention of the Public,
    I beg of you to read this letter so I may have the opportunity to highlight the issues that may arise from pulling the funding from the Mater Social Anxiety group.
    My name is Noel, I am 31 years of age and I have battled with social anxiety for most of my life. My issues stemmed from abuse I received while in the care of Sisters of Mercy public school. As a result I have been robbed of my childhood and the scars have lived on with me.
    I joined the Mater Social Anxiety group and the care I received gave me a chance to work on my issues with the goal of re-joining society. And it did. After the course with Odhran and his team I joined a college course and while difficult it was extremely beneficial and I was on the correct path to having a somewhat normal life.
    I had a relapse over November where I had come very close to suicide, But due to a family member seeing my condition and calling my GP, I was sent to Saint Bridget’s Hospital in Ballinasloe, they took me in and were excellent with their treatment, I hated the loss of control at first but I know now that it is an essential step in the treatment to take the patient out of the situation when self-harm is an issue, I knew after the first 48 hours why I had no laces and belts for my jeans.
    Before hitting the dark period in November, I had signed up with Jigsaw in Galway, They were meant to be there for help and support, but failed. I signed up for a 10 person group therapy course, and with the date approaching I became more and more anxious.
    But I turned up.
    When the time passed for the start of the group, I realized that I was the only 1 from 10 that made it. I was in a bad way, but think of the 9 that did not make it and how they feel. Not one is from rudeness, It is a genuine fear that sits on our shoulders, like someone afraid of heights jumping from a plane, But from the smallest things. When I spoke to the girl over the course, she said if no one shows up “I don’t think the course will go on”.
    So I went home waiting for a call or email, nothing for weeks, so I called Jigsaw in Galway, and the secretary said, “The funding has been pulled from the group”.
    I was shocked, It was one thing to stop the group for the 9 that did not show up, But it was negligent that it was stopped for the one that did show up, as for Jigsaw in Galway, I think they need a review as it was a let-down for me but Jigsaw take in a lot of younger people and I would hate for them to see the rejection I seen.
    I will be the first to put my hands up and say, I need treatment, and it’s a big deal to go out and look for it.
    When I was researching for help, I came across Odhran and his team; honestly I thought someone was looking out for me. From all the treatments I have tried the Mater Social Anxiety group is perfectly structured and professionally ran and designed to specifically deal with Social Anxiety. It was still difficult to drive from Galway to Dublin and think of backing out with every mile.
    The treatment is extremely effective, the reason I know this is that I have tried everything else, Doctors , Specialists, Neurosurgeon , Hypnotists , Acupuncture, Mediation, Self-help books and CD’s, Physiotherapists, Psychiatrists, Behavioral Therapist, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Medication, Fish oils and Fruit diets with overactive thyroids.
    Hands down the most beneficial thing I have done in over 25 years of treatment is stumble on to the Mater CBT group, while researching on the internet.
    The Mater CBT group was a monumental breakthrough for me, because of the professionalism and level of care that I received. I also got to meet people from all over Ireland that traveled to Dublin for the socials group, social group.
    Everyone was great and had genuine character, and you would see, that people with social anxiety, are the nicest, mannerly and helpful people that they deserve to be part of the community.
    We have a lot to give society.
    But I am 31 now and I’m nearly out of tickets. I am intelligent enough to know, I can’t take a second group to progress, or I would be taking someone else’s place.
    Basically I am saying the Mater SA group actually saves lives every year. They teach us knowledge of how to stay calm and deal with the anxiety we face day to day. So, it’s a matter of pulling funding from a service that works, for people who feel isolated and alone, and are no strangers to budget cuts. And it’s not like anyone with social anxiety will kick a fuss.
    The very existence of our Social Anxiety forces us not to speak out, but I hope you listen to Odhran on our behalf as he has taken the time to get to know all of us, we’re extremely lucky to have him and his team.
    I would like to take this opportunity to thank them, from the bottom of my heart.
    I beg you consider; the decision to pull the funding will directly affect a lot of people.


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