Mental Health


We all go through difficult times now and again and everyone experiences days when they are angry, sad or stressed. But when these days turn into weeks or months it is time to get some help.

Your mental health is an important part of your overall health and can affect your physical, social, sexual health and wellbeing. It can also affect the wellbeing of the people closest to you.

It can be difficult to admit or seek help for your mental health. So, we take a particular interest in your mental health and wellbeing. We know how hard it is to talk about how you are feeling – to even find the words. But your mental health is a real and treatable health issue like heart disease or asthma. With the right treatment, you can take control of your issues, feel better and get your life back. Just like any other health problem, the sooner it is treated the sooner you will begin to feel better.

Like all aspects of your health, you need to take the time to work at your mental health to maintain it. Just as you would talk to us about any physical illness you are experiencing, talk to us about your mental health. We are here to help.


What to expect when visiting your GP

At Briarhill Family Practice, we understand how hard it can be to take that first step and talk about how you are feeling. To help you take that first step, has created a video explaining what to expect when visiting a GP about your mental health for the first time.


What will we talk about?

Our conversation will be based solely on things that are currently on your mind. These are the issues in your life which are causing you stress, sleeplessness, worry, anxiety, panic attacks or dragging down your mood.

We know that taking this first step can be very challenging, but be assured that when you do we are here to help.

We will discuss the different options available to you - from things you can do for yourself to talking therapies, medication and other forms of psychological support. Together, we will figure out which option is best for you.


Things you can talk to your GP about

Below is a list of “Things you can talk to your GP about” so you can be confident in the kind of care and support to expect from us. It also includes several links to other services and information that can help.

Things you can do for yourself

This might include tips for good mental health, such as eating well and exercising, self-help reading, or referral to an exercise programme.

Talking therapies and psychology

Counselling is a type of talking therapy. This type of support involves talking with a professional about your feelings and concerns. We can recommend talking therapies in your area. These might include free, low cost or private options. If you are a Medical Card holder and over 18, we may refer you to counselling in primary care.


There are a variety of medicines that can help someone who has mental health concerns. It can take some time for these medicines to work, and it is important that the person is closely monitored by a GP.

If antidepressants are prescribed, they should be regularly monitored. Not everyone wants to take medication for depression and it is important to understand the benefits and possible side effects you may experience.

If you have concerns, talk to us and explore what other options are available. We will talk about the outcomes you can expect from the medication, how long we think you will need to take the medication, and if medication will be combined with other treatment options, such as counselling.

Psychology services

We may refer you to HSE psychology services. In some areas of Galway, psychology services are available for free through primary care. This means that you can access the service directly in those areas. You can also find a psychologist and arrange a private appointment here.

Access to mental health services

An appointment for HSE Mental Health Services can only be made through a GP or other health professional. If we decide this service is appropriate, we will make a referral. If you require urgent access, please attend A&E, if you and your GP decide this service is appropriate.

Long-term support

Your GP is an important part of your long-term health support. He or she will develop a “big picture” of how you are being cared for by a variety of services. Where others are involved in your care (such as a psychiatrist, social worker, family members, etc.) your GP may work with them to provide you with the best overall care.


Things to talk to your GP about was created by,
a place to learn about mental health in Ireland, and how to support yourself and the people you love.


Evenings & Weekends

If you are a registered patient of Briarhill Family Practice, you can access our out-of-office hours GP whenever our surgery is closed. If you call outside of normal surgery hours from Monday to Thursday, a pre-recorded message will give you the details of the doctor on call for emergencies that night. At weekends, you will go through to an on-call GP service based in the outpatient’s department (behind reception) of the Bon Secours Hospital, Renmore, Galway.

If you are not a registered patient with Briarhill Family Practice, please contact your regular GP who should have an emergency number to call for evenings and weekends. Unfortunately, our emergency on-call services are only available to patients previously registered with our practice.

However, if you are in crisis speak to the Doctor on-call, they will advise on the best course of action to take. Alternatively, contact any of the support services listed under useful links below.

Out-of-Office Doctor’s Hours: Monday to Thursday, 6pm - 8am

  • A pre-recorded message will give the contact details of the Doctor on call for emergencies that night.
  • Call us on (091) 393 170

Weekends & Bank Holidays: Call CityDoc

Please note we are not a member of Westdoc


Useful Links - 24 hours a day

Emotional Support


Free helpline: 116 123

Email: Samaritans is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for anyone struggling to cope. For confidential, non-judgemental support. Please call 116 123, email, or visit www.samaritans.iefor details of the nearest branch.


Free helpline: 1800 666 666

Online Chat:

Teentxt service: text the word "Talk" to 50101

Childline provides a free and confidential listening service to children and young people up to the age of 18. The Childline helpline is open every day, 24 hours a day and Childline Online Chat is open every day 10am - 10pm.


Self-harm Support

Pieta House

Find your closest branch:


Pieta House offers specialised treatment to clients who self-harm, suffer from suicidal ideation or have made multiple suicide attempts. Clients receive an intensive programme of one-to-one counselling lasting about four to six weeks. Pieta House is a non-profit organisation and the service is free of charge.


Money & Debt Management Support


Helpline: 0761 07 2000 (Monday-Friday, 9am - 8pm)

Local MABS offices:

The Money and Budgeting Service (MABS) is a free and confidential service for people in debt or in danger of getting into debt. Advisers can give you advice and support on many money management and debt issues, and can also provide you with MABS self-help materials free of charge.


Public Services

Citizen's Information

Information Phone Service: 0761 07 4000 (Monday- Friday, 9am to 8pm)

Mortgage Arrears Information Helpline: 0761 07 4000 (Monday - Friday, 9.30am to 5pm)

Provides comprehensive information on all aspects of public services and entitlements for citizens in Ireland.


General Mental Health Support


Infoline: 1890 474 474

GROW is a mental health organisation which helps people who have suffered, or are suffering, from mental health problems.


Information helpline: 1890 621 631 (Monday- Friday, 9am to 4pm)

Email support:

Shine supports people with mental ill health and their families and friends. The information helpline provides general information, a listening ear and specific information about Shine services. Emails received by are viewed and responded to by trained psychotherapists, within a 24 hour period between Monday and Friday. The service is confidential.


Turn2Me provides moderated peer support forums, online support groups, access to Thought Catcher - a mood measuring tool - and one to one online counselling.


MyMind provide multilingual counselling and psychotherapy services, both online or face to face through more than 80 mental health professionals and in more than 10 languages. Clients can self-refer and appointments are within 72 hours. Fees are based upon employment status, offering the unemployed or students affordable services.


Free support line: 1800 80 48 48 (Monday–Sunday, 10am to 10pm)

Support email:

Aware is a national voluntary organisation providing support through depression. Aware provides provide face-to-face, phone and online support for individuals who are experiencing mild to moderate depression, as well as friends and families who are concerned for a loved one. is an online directory run by Mental Health Reform (M.H.R.), the national coalition of organisations promoting improved mental health services. The directory brings together the services and supports offered by M.H.R.'s member organisations and includes information on helplines and websites, support groups and training, benefits and housing, inpatient care and counselling, complaints and advocacy, rights and recovery.

3Ts Self Help eLibrary Resource

3Ts have produced a series of self-help booklets in conjunction with the NHS that are available to download for free and are intended to serve as a ‘first step’ towards recovery across a broad range of topics that effect mental health. Each booklet is accessible, easy to read and is 20 to 30 pages long, containing information, tips and techniques for coping and managing the issue. There is sign-posting to relevant resources & supports at the rear of each booklet. They can be downloaded free from, either to print or to view. There is also an audio option with the guide.


Phone: 01 8430930


Nurture is an Irish charity offering timely and affordable professional counselling and supports surrounding pregnancy and childbirth mental health illnesses & emotional wellbeing to women, their partners and families in Ireland. If you would like to make an appointment to talk to one of their counsellors, please visit or ring Nuture headquarters to arrange an appointment with a counsellor in your area.


Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Support

LGBT Helpline

Helpline: 1890 929 539

The LGBT Helpline is a national support service providing confidential, non-judgmental, support and information to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people and their families and friends. The LGBT Helpline is run through a network of local helpline centres by trained volunteers.

Negative life experiences can be stressful and this stress can affect our mental health. Homophobia and transphobia can lead to specific stresses for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people that can also have a negative impact on their mental health. This website provides information for LGBT people on how they can look after their mental health and highlights the services available if LGBT people need support.


Abuse/Domestic Violence Support


Helpline: 046 9023718 (Monday-Friday, 9am - 5pm)

AMEN provides a confidential helpline and support service, and information, for male victims of domestic abuse.

Women's Aid

Free Helpline: 1800 341 900 (10am-10pm every day of the year, except Christmas day)

Women's Aid is a voluntary organisation offers free and confidential support to women and their children who are experiencing domestic violence in the Republic of Ireland.

Children at Risk in Ireland (CARI)

Helpline: 1890 924 567 (Monday – Friday, 9.30am to 5.30pm)

The CARI Helpline (Lo Call 1890 924 567) is a specialised, confidential national service. The CARI Helpline advisors respond to calls from professionals seeking referral advice and parents who have just received the devastating news that one of their children has suffered sexual abuse or they are concerned about their child’s sexualised behaviour.

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre

National helpline: 1800 77 88 88 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year)

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre is a national organisation offering a wide range of services to women and men who are affected by rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment or childhood sexual abuse. The services include a national 24-hour helpline, one to one counselling, court accompaniment, outreach services, training, awareness raising and lobbying.