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29 Sept 2022

Carmha launch website and fundraising appeal

Carmha launch website and fundraising appeal

Carmha are based on Silver St, Nenagh

Carmha Nenagh has launched its new website and Christmas appeal. 

They hope their website will help them reach more of the public and raise much-needed funding for the centre. 

Addiction Counsellor, Psychotherapist and Co-founder Donal Ryan says Carmha aims to connect with people and help them access treatment as quickly as possible. 

"One thing to make it as quick and easy to get people in touch with treatment with us. The sooner we intervene, the sooner it all [suffering] stops,"

"It's about making that connection and treating people with respect," said Mr Ryan. 

Carmha provides support to people living with both addiction and mental health challenges. 

The name stands for Connection and Recovery in Mental Health and Addiction. 

At the centre, a person can talk to peer supporters or access group counselling.  

According to Mr Ryan, Carmha was started from a focus group with those who would use the service to meet their needs better. 

"We asked them three questions: what would help their recovery? What would hinder their recovery? And what is it they wanted? And they came back with not to be judged, not to be stigmatised and to be able to access services fairly quickly," said Mr Ryan.  

Mr Ryan, Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Marie Oppeboen, and a group of people with experience with addiction set up Carmha, which is located on Silver St in Nenagh. 

Next year, Carmha hopes to apply for state grants; however, they are right now very low on funding, according to the organisation. 

Currently, they estimate they will have only enough for the first couple of months of 2022. 

They ask the public to donate to their GoFundMe page: Keep Carmha's Doors Open. 

According to their GoFundMe page,

"We are running this fundraiser to try to raise funds to keep Carmha's doors open. With a lack of any statutory or government funding, Carmha is in crisis, and the reality we now face is that we may be forced to close our doors within two months."

Mr Ryan said that one of the biggest challenges those using the centre face is stigma. 

However, there are few places people facing a dual diagnosis of addiction and mental illness can go for help because services are usually either mental health or addiction. 

Few services support people with both. 

He also says that people living with addiction experience a high level of stigma, which is bad for all of society, not just the individual. 

"I would like to stop people from being stigmatised and blocked from getting into treatment. If we can work in the community to intervene as early as possible to stop people entering mental health or prison, if we can intervene early enough with the individual and its good for the family as well and for the exchequer as well because it costs little or nothing to do what we do and it costs a whole lot of more to keep someone in prison," said Mr Ryan.

Carmha hope to raise €10,000. The public can donate to Carmha through their website or on their GoFundMe page. 

For more information on Carmha, visit www.carmha.com. 

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