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Published on November 13th, 2012 | by Archon

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Background Report – TCS Pilot Project

Please click here to view the report

The Traveller counselling service pilot project is the result of three years work which was carried out by the Traveller counselling support network, this started out as a lose network of individuals who were involved with Travellers or involved in counselling services and were concerned that that there were no counselling services for the Traveller community while at the same time Travellers were not availing of the mainstream services which were available, and the question was why weren’t Travellers availing of such services when there is evidence that there is very high rates of suicide among young Traveller men particularly, that there are large numbers of Travellers on medication for depression anxiety and other difficulties also because of the harsh living conditions and life style Travellers are more likely to die at a younger age so loss and grief has become a common feature of Traveller life and yet there is nothing in place to help Travellers deal with these issues.

One of the key things which has prevented Travellers using other services in the past is the discrimination that Travellers experience when they have tried to avail of services, such as medical services , doctors etc, so the past experience of the Traveller community has been a very negative one along side this Traveller culture has not been respected and is not in general seen as valid so the services that have been available have not taken Traveller culture in to account when developing these services.

The network felt that it would be crucially important to develop a counselling which service would be culturally appropriate or culturally sensitive and would accommodate the needs of Travellers from a Traveller perspective.

One which would take into account the disadvantage and exclusion that Travellers have experienced by the majority community and also be aware of and take into account the values norms and traditions of the Traveller community.

These principles would run right through project starting at management, development and how the service is delivered. The idea being that this is a Traveller service supported by members of the settled community.

Please click here to view the report

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  • Feedback

    “As manager of the organisation, I have seen the impact since the local counselling service was set up some years now. The taboo that Travellers always had in relation to counselling is no longer there.”

    “Our clients have said that they do feel the benefit of using the service for a number of reasons. Before they did not understand counselling or what it was for, and to be able to talk to someone about their problems and issues, whether it be drug related or not, in a "safe and confidential environment" is key.”

    (Jim O’Brien, Manager, Bray Traveller’s Community Development Group Ltd.)