Support for family members affected by the alcohol or substance misuse of others within their family

Is someone within your family misusing drugs or alcohol? Is that misuse impacting on you and other family members? The Donegal Addiction Service in partnership with Family Members and the National Family Support Network have recently set up a family support group in Letterkenny. The group currently meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month in CARA House. The plan is that the group will run every fortnight from September and that groups will be started in other parts of Donegal from 2019. For further information contact 01 8980148

Anam Cara evening for bereaved parents in Letterkenny

Anam Cara, the organisation that supports bereaved parents, will hold its next monthly Parent Evening on Thursday 14th of December from 19:30 to 21:00 in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal (please note change of venue). Anam Cara offers a safe and comfortable setting where you can ‘drop the mask’ and be yourself among people who understand. This event is open to all bereaved parents regardless of the age your child died, the circumstances of their death, or whether the death was recent or not.

The solidarity experienced by being among people who are bound together by a common feeling of appalling loss is a great help. None of us wanted to be in this group nor would wish it on others but the feeling of understanding – which doesn’t need to be verbally expressed – is a support. We all understand.”

Mevagh Family Resource Centre

Mevagh Family Resource Centre is based in Downings, County Donegal. Since our foundation in 1998 we have established the centre as the area’s natural focal point by providing services and family support. In more recent years we have focused on additional family friendly activities while still providing a range of programmes and services, including community education, community garden, men’s shed and group supports.


We also deliver specific projects for children and young people, developing personal capacity, improving health and wellbeing and providing educational opportunities. We work in partnership with local agencies to provide these supports. Programme’s include:


  • Breast Feeding Support Group – every Thursday morning @ 11-12:30pm
  • Busy Bee’s, Parent, Baby & Toddler Group – Every Friday @ 10-12pm
  • Junior Youth Club age 7-12 years – every Thursday @ 3:15-4:30pm
  • Youth Club – Club Óige Mhíobhaigh– every Friday @ 7:30-9pm
  • Book Club – second Tuesday of every month @ 8pm
  • Mevagh Craft Group – every Thursday @ 10:30 – 12:30pm
  • Mevagh Carers Group – second Tuesday of every month @ 11am
  • Mevagh Men’s Group – second Tuesday of every month @ 8-10pm
  • Mevagh Women’s Group – third Monday of every month @ 8pm
  • Mevagh Men’s Shed – every Tuesday & Thursday @ 7-10pm
  • Mevagh Community Garden
  • McGrath School of Speech & Drama – every Wednesday @ 5-8pm
  • ParentStop – when needed, can book through making an appointment.


In addition to this, the centre provides information, advice and supports to meet the needs of individuals and groups. We also offer faxing, typing and copying service, internet access, library, agency outreach, assist with job applications and CV writing, room rental and tourist information. Our Centre opens Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and close for lunch 1pm to 2pm.

Anam Cara – support for bereaved parents in Inishowen

On Wednesday 18th October Anam Cara will host an Information Evening in Buncrana.

It is aimed at bereaved parents from across Inishowen and will be the first time Anam Cara has held an event on the peninsula. The guest speaker is Brid Carroll. Brid recently facilitated another Anam Cara event and this was the feedback from one of the parents present:

“I was more at ease here than with friends or family since the tragic loss of my son. There was no holding back on what we needed to say and all of us could identify with the others’ pain. Nothing that was said was judged by anyone else. There was a common bond. No one was afraid to talk of their children’s lives and deaths for fear of upsetting the other. It was welcomed.”

Anam Cara is an organisation that supports bereaved parents across the country. They will hold a

Bereavement Information Evening on Wednesday 18th of October in the Gateway Hotel, Buncrana, from 7pm-9pm.

Bríd Carroll who is experienced in supporting bereaved parents will talk for about forty minutes. Then there’ll be an opportunity to speak, or simply to listen to other bereaved parents. You can also talk to Bríd should you have any questions or concerns. The event is free of charge and is open to all bereaved parents, no matter the age of your child or the circumstances of his or her death. See for more details or call their Information Line on 085 2888 888.

Please note that this event is open to bereaved parents only.

A Changed Life – a support group for people who have lost someone to suicide

A Changed Life

This Support Group for people who have lost someone to Suicide will begin in October 2017.

The programme is offered through the Pastoral Centre, Letterkenny. Groups are small and participants are taken through an 8 week programme in living with the aftermath of suicide. Sessions are structured so that each night a different theme relating to bereavement and suicide is discussed.

Groups are facilitated by 2 psychotherapists.

For more information

Please contact Liam Cannon, Director of Counselling, at the Pastoral Centre on 074 9121853

This course is sponsored by Tusla

Other services available in the Pastoral Centre
  • Bereavement Group – starting shortly
  • Counselling service for children and young people from the age of 5 upwards
  • Adult counselling service

For further information contact the Pastoral Centre on 074 9121853 or see their website

Greencastle Mothers’ Support Group

Are you a mum in the Greencastle area? Would you enjoy meeting with other mums for a cup of tea and a chat? They meet on the last Wednesday of the month in the Greencastle Community Centre at 7pm, starting on Wednesday 27th September. It is a free event and you are very welcome to come along.

Young Adult Support Group

                                                    Donegal Youth Service in association with AWARE and Mental Health Ireland set up a Young Adult Mental Health Support Group in January 2016 in response to a request from young people and staff, for a specially tailored programme for  young adults aged 18 – 25 years. The programme was designed in line with the  latest research and in a way that respects young people developmentally, while catering to  a young adult’s unique life-stage issues, their individual and group  identity.

The group meets weekly in a welcoming, accessible,  community-based, non-judgemental and non-stigmatizing setting in which  young people feel comfortable. Through the creation of supportive social networks and by by providing a sense of belonging and connectedness,  mental well-being can be improved. Uniquely, this programme is  co-designed, so all participants in the first few sessions decide what  they want to do as a group and in what direction they want it to go.

We are setting up a new mental health support group after the fantastic  success we had with last year’s group and are putting a call out to  anyone who feels that they or someone they know may benefit from this  group. If you know any young people who may be interested please pass on the details. They can also contact for more information.

Here’s what last years participant’s said:

“It was so chilled that I could doodle or draw while the group was on, the informality was perfect, even the way we sat in a loose circle, it allowed us to relax and bond. It allowed you to engage in a way that suits you” (Female, 23 years)

“I really enjoyed I, it was really comfortable, people were open and  there was no awkwardness. I would recommend it; I learned a good bit  from it. I changed some habits and perspectives on things for the more  positive and now I manage myself much better. There is generally an  all-round improvement in my life” (Male, 19 years)

“I loved the discussions, it wasn’t always personal problems – everybody debated ideas, explored and analysed concepts and ideas in mental health, I don’t have the opportunity to talk about these things anywhere else.” (Female, 21 years)

“My worries became smaller when I started letting people know how I was feeling, I realised from the group that sharing your problems works and I got tips on how to deal with stuff when I needed it which I then used. I have skills now” (Male, 25 years)

“I came to the group because I felt so low, like I was stuck in a hole, stuck in self-pity, it really shakes you out of that through hearing other people’s stories and the little things, it all helps you realise you’re not going to get any better doing the same thing that doesn’t work and you become aware that you need to learn new ways of coping.” (Female, 22 years)

“I found it really helpful for dealing with problems because after a few weeks we became friends and it was a such a good support knowing someone was there for you”  (Male, 20 years)

“The environment was laid back and chilled, you’d never feel judged, it is a safe space to talk, I feel more confident now to speak about mental health and being here did that”” (Female, 25years)

“When you are young, you don’t have a lot of control – parents, school, routine, doctors, structures, systems – this place is like a space to be who you are, you’re not restricted. The social aspect is brilliant, you meet people and actually get out of the house, this was the one day a week I’d actually socialise and I need it because I can get isolated.” (Female 23 years)