The HSE National Counselling Service (NCS) is a professional, confidential counselling and psychotherapy service available free of charge in all regions of the Health Service Executive. Our client group are adults who have experienced trauma and abuse in childhood with priority given to adult survivors of institutional abuse in Ireland.
Established in September 2000, the NCS employs over 70 Counsellor/Therapists who are highly qualified and experienced in working with developmental trauma. Clients can refer themselves directly by calling a freephone number. Healthcare Professionals can also refer clients. The core principles of the NCS are consistent with those of the most recently published Irish Healthcare Strategy (Quality & Fairness, 2002).
Ten Directors of Counselling who have a wealth of experience and knowledge of working with trauma in the public and private sectors globally, manage the NCS on a daily basis. They work together to ensure that there is consistency of service nationally in terms of professional and ethical standards and equity of service for residents within the State.
Since the inception of the NCS, our primary clients have been adults who experienced abuse whilst in the care of the state as children. We have produced two National Reports that outline in detail the range of services available together with statistics illustrating the level of uptake by clients nationwide. These Reports are available on this site to download.
The NCS is committed to evaluation and research.In 2003 we published a piece of research that invited our clients and stakeholders to give us their views on their experience of using the NCS. This piece of research was conducted by the Health Services Research Centre at the Psychology Department of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and is known as The SENCS Report. This Report made 12 recommendations to the NCS and we have based our National Strategy around these recommendations.
We are currently exploring suitable internationally recognised measures of quality counselling and psychotherapy services with a view to measuring client outcomes so as to benchmark ourselves across the European Union and globally.
HSE NCS Purpose Statement:
The HSE National Counselling Service helps adults who have experienced abuse, neglect or trauma in childhood to cope better with their life and relationships now in the present and on into the future.
The HSE NCS has a track record of providing a confidential, professional and accessible counselling service which clients experience as caring, welcoming and effective. The HSE NCS works in an integrated way with other health and social care providers to inform, educate and support individuals, organisations and the Irish Public in general to prevent future cycles of abuse occurring and to promote positive mental health and wellbeing as a benefit for society.