Courses in the Pastoral Centre Letterkenny this autumn

September 2017 courses in the Pastoral Centre – Early booking recommended for all Courses and Evenings.


The Pastoral Centre, Monastery Avenue, Letterkenny 074 9121853

Anger Management Course

Starts Monday 18th September 2017 from 7.30pm till 9.30pm. Six weekly sessions till 23rd October. The course will include themes of self-confidence building, improved relationships with self and others, anger management and discovering the creative side to self.

Course will be €90 and to secure a place fee needs to be paid in full before first evening. Facilitator Cathy O’Connor. Classes are open to all adults. Numbers are limited.

Basic Arabic Language Classes: beginners

Starts Wednesday 20th September 7pm-pm. Six weekly sessions till 25th October.

The course will include Basic Arabic language, meeting and greeting, short conversations.

Course will be €90 and must be paid in full before first evening to secure a place. Facilitator Fadl Mustafa. Classes are open to all adults. Numbers are limited.

First Aid Course with certification for two years.

One day course Thursday November 16th 9.30am – 5.00pm.

The course will include effective First Aid techniques for aiding people at home, the work place and elsewhere, enabling you to save someone’s life.

Course will be €90 to be paid in full before the date of the course.

Facilitator: Safe-Tech. Classes are open to all adults. Numbers are limited.

Pathways Programme

Pathways is a two-year one-day-a-month course for adults who wish to explore their faith (9 Saturdays a year). There are no exams and no written work. You can come along and enjoy.

Each day consists of input from excellent and engaging speakers and the opportunity for discussion. The cost is €250 for the whole Academic Year, payable in 3 installments. Booking is now open. A place is secured when the first installment of €100 is paid.

Contact Fr Cathal O’Fearrraí at for more information.

Bereavement Support Group

Start date: Tuesday 3rd October 7 pm to 9.30 pm. Finishing date is 27th February 2018. This is a support group for adults who have experienced grief. Participants are guided through a programme that runs over 10 Tuesday evenings with a specific focus on personal experience that the group members have encountered on their journey through grief. The group will be closed on the first night. Feedback on this programme has been extremely positive.

The evenings are FREE of charge. Donations welcome.

A Changed Life – support group

This is a support group for people who have lost someone to suicide. Start date is Tuesday 26th September from 7 pm to 9.30 pm. Finishing date is 20th February 2018.

This small group will be closed on the first night.

For information on what the group offers, please contact Liam Cannon, Director of Counselling on 074 9121853.

The evenings are FREE of charge. Donations welcome.


Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training course is the most widely used suicide prevention course.

A.S.I.S.T. is suitable for anyone interested in learning the skills to talk with someone who might have suicidal ideation. The next two-day course will run on Wednesday 11th October and Thursday 12th October from 9 am to 5 pm.

If you wish you may bring a packed lunch. Early booking is advisable for this course.

This course is FREE of charge.


The Pastoral Centre works in partnership with Tusla, Donegal ETB and the National Lottery.

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Safer Internet Day takes place next Tuesday, 7th February 2023. Sadly more than 1 in 4 young people in Ireland have experienced cyberbullying, yet only 60% of victims tell their parents. As teenagers and children spend more time on the internet, ensuring it's a safe space is ever more important. To encourage conversation about life online and help parents keep their children safe, I'd like to share a free resource created by It's a comprehensive guide which includes things like:
  • How to reduce the risks online
  • How to recognise cyber bullying and grooming
  • How to educate children on cyber safety
  • How to set up parental controls on devices
I thought it may be useful to share the link to the guide - - which you can include on your website ahead of Safer Internet Day, to help parents and children who may need some extra support. We've also put together some handy top tips you can use on your website: 10 tips to keep your children safe online
  1. Talk about it:Make time to chat about online risks and how to use the internet safelyas soon as they're old enough to go online. Encourage your children to speak to you about what they view online and empower them to act if they're worried about anything.
  2. Recognise the risks: Educate yourself about the potential dangers children could face online so  it’s easier to spot warning signs. Get to know what platforms your children use, and learn about dangers such as phishing, grooming and cyberbullying.
  3. Teach the do's and don'ts: Be clear about the non-negotiables.  For example, teach your child not to share personal details or photos with strangers and instruct them not to click on links to unknown websites or texts. Do encourage your child to question what they see and only accept friend requests from people they know.
  4. Spot the signs: Pay attention to your children's behaviour whilst on and off their devices. Being alert to changes in your child can help prevent problems from escalating. Some warning signs are withdrawing from friends or family, sleeping and eating problems or losing interest in previously loved hobbies or interests.
  5. Set boundaries:Let your children know what they can and can't do on the internet from the get-go. Agree on what devices they can use, when, and how long they can spend online. As they get older, explaining and negotiating boundaries may be more effective.
  6. Take 'parental' control: These ready-made boundaries put parents in control of what children can see online. They can be set up through your internet provider at device level to block specific websites and filter out inappropriate content.
  7. Be social media savvy:  The popularity of social media apps like TikTok and Snapchat makes it harder to keep track of what your child is accessing online.  Fortunately, each social media platform has its own privacy settings and safety tips for parents. Check them out before you let children have their own accounts.
  8. Protect from harm:Install antivirus software on family devices to minimise the risk of cyber attacks or scams. Use two-factor authentication (2FA) for extra security on your online accounts. This can also stop children from signing into services they're not allowed to use.
  9. Set a great example:  You're the greatest 'influencer' in your children's lives when they're young.  Limiting your time online, discussing dangers you've come across, and questioning what you view can help reinforce the rules you are setting for your children and, in turn, influence their online behaviour.
  10. Seek support:The more you learn about online dangers, the better equipped you'll be to handle them. There are some great resources like  webwise.ieinternetmatters.organd to help you recognise and reduce online dangers and seek advice if you think your child is experiencing cyberbullying or is at risk online.

Infant Mental Health Awareness Week runs from June 13th-19th.           

This week provides an opportunity to focus attention on the wellbeing, social and emotional development of our babies and young children. It highlights the importance of early relationships and a relationship based approach to interventions with infants and families. As our understanding of IMH and its evidence base develops, so also does our knowledge of how to apply this knowledge and an ‘IMH lens’ to interactions with infants, parents and caregivers in health and social services. 

What is infant mental health?

Infant Mental health (IMH) refers to the healthy social and emotional development of Infants starting at conception up to three years of age.

The first 1000 days of life are recognised as a critical period of opportunity to support infant mental health. Decades of research have shown that it is the quality of the early caregiver relationship that is a significant determinant of the infant’s healthy social and emotional development and in turn physical health, right up to adulthood.


The National Healthy Childhood Programme has embedded IMH as the foundation of the development of its resources and in the approach of the delivery of the universal child health service. This embedding of key messages can be seen in the My Child suite of books ( and also on  where key messages around bonding and relationship building have been embedded for the parent/caregiver.


In clinical practice the topic of IMH has been included for the first time in the National Standardised Child Health Record. To build on this, the National Healthy Childhood Programme have just completed a suite of three eLearning units which are now available on HSEland for healthcare practitioners / caregivers who are working with children and families.  


Throughout the week you will see videos and key IMH messaging being promoted on the HSE MyChild social media pages ( Facebook / Instagram ). Keep an eye out in the National Newspapers for articles from our experts also. (IrishTimes article)  


In addition The National Healthy Childhood Programme have developed a series of ten practical videos with HSE expert advice which are now available on YouTube and on the relevant pages on the website.

These videos (2-3 minutes each) are aimed at parents/guardians of children (0 – 3 years).

These new video resources are available here while lots more expert advice for every step of pregnancy, baby and toddler health can also be found at

There are a suite of posters available focusing on the promotion of IMH messaging to order from

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