Derry's economic woes sees relationship counsellors inundated

Tue, 18/10/2011 - 12:45 -- Editor

A relationship guidance service provider says that the economic situation in Derry has seen a dramatic increase in people availing of their services.

Accord, Ireland’s leading agency supporting marriage and relationships, say in the last year alone its Derry office have been fielding at least five extra requests a week for help.

“We have seen a marked increase in the demand for our counselling service in Derry,” says Deirdre O' Rawe Accord’s Regional Director.

“We have seen a seven per cent increase in 2010 and a further eight per cent this year, to date.

“Of  those seeking our help, a lot of couples are citing financial stress as the reason for coming. Unemployment and the threat  of unemployment can lead to significant stress in the individual and the relationship. Feelings of failure or inadequacy can result in an inability to talk through fears and distress and this can affect how couples communicate and deal with conflict. All of this has its effect  on children. Many couples are trying to keep up appearances, but silently suffering. Having a 'safe space' to talk things out, with an accredited Accord counsellor can  clarify feelings and understanding  between spouses and this can help couples face their anxieties 

“Accord counsellors do not judge, but rather provide a confidential service to enable couples to make decisions together.  Increasingly when clients contact Accord, the first question is about  cost. As an agency of the Church, Accord is open to all regardless of faith, denomination or none and our services are based on client need, rather than an ability to pay. We would encourage any couple experiencing difficulties in their relationship to contact us. You will receive an accepting and warm welcome - we are  here to help.”
Accord are situated at the Diocesan Pastoral Centre, 164 Bishop Street, Derry BT48 6UJ. You can contact them on 02871 362475 or at