What is the Aware Helpline (1890 303 302)?
Helpline hours
Will my call be confidential?
Support Groups
Attending a meeting
Research
Other useful helplines

Aware is a voluntary organisation formed in 1985 by a group of interested patients, relatives and mental health professionals. It aims to assist people whose lives are directly affected by depression. Some 300,000 people in Ireland currently have depression and over 500 take their own lives each year. Many are reluctant to seek help.

Since its foundation in 1985, Aware has been working energetically to support people who have depression, and their families and to dispel the myths and misunderstandings of this devastating illness.

What is the Aware Helpline (1890 303 302)?
The Aware Helpline is a non-directive listening service for people affected by depression, either personally or as family and friends. The Helpline offers a non-judgemental ear to people who may be distressed or worried, or just need someone to talk to. You can also call the helpline if you are worried about someone who may be depressed or for information about depression or Aware’s services.

Helpline hours
The Helpline is open seven days a week from 10am-10pm. From Thursday to Sunday, the Helpline also operates after 10pm. It can be busy and some calls can last quite a while, so if you're trying to get through, have patience and don't give up. Calls to the Helpline are charged at local rate from anywhere in Ireland.

Will my call be confidential?
All calls are treated with strict confidentiality and are anonymous. No one will ever be told that you have contacted us, and no third parties will be contacted.

Support groups
Attending an Aware Support Group offers the opportunity for those with depression to interact with other people in a similar situation. At meetings people can talk openly in a mutually caring environment about how they feel to those who really understand depression. The process of the support group is to allow people to give and receive support and improve their coping skills and problem solving by sharing their feelings and experiences.

Confidentiality is a central aspect of Aware Support Groups. Through ongoing attendance the groups give people information about depression and elation, about how it can affect the way they think and feel and how they relate to others. The problems created by mood changes in relationships, be they at home, at work or in their social life, can then be better understood.

The caring and supportive nature of the group helps people to find the courage and confidence to identify mood changes in their earlier stages and to take the steps necessary to stop the illness disrupting their life.

Attending a meeting
People are welcomed on arrival by the Support Group Facilitator who provides them with Aware literature. The meeting lasts from an hour to an hour and a half and is usually attended by 5-10 people. Those attending are asked to introduce themselves to the Group on a first name basis. The importance of confidentiality is emphasised at the beginning of every Group. People attending an Aware Support Group for the first time generally sit back and listen. However, they are invited, towards the end of the meeting to share their thoughts if they wish.

Research
Since its foundation in 1985, Aware has been involved in studies of the biological, social and psychological aspects of depressive and manic depressive illnesses. Aware currently funds the Depression Research Unit at St. Patrick's Hospital, Dublin and supports other studies throughout Ireland.
Public attitudes to depression: A national survey
Public attitudes to depression and its treatment in general practice
Bipolar disorder subtypes and treatment outcomes
New antidepressant medication
L-tryptophan: Is it safe?
Bipolar disorder patients' knowledge of and attitude to their illness and its treatment.
Do support groups improve knowledge, attitude and outcome in bipolar disorder?
Antidepressant combinations for subtypes of depression
Depression in the workplace: What people tell their boss
Genetics of depression
Clinical and neuroendocrine characteristics of rapid cycling and mood disorder

Other useful helplines
Samaritans 1850 60 90 90
Childline 1800 666 666
Dublin Rape Crisis Centre 1800 77 88 88
Schizophrenia Ireland 1890 621 631
OANDA -Out And About Association (01) 833 8252 / 833 8253
Grow 1890 474 474
Recovery (01) 668 1855

To make a donation to Aware, click here:
http://www.aware.ie/donations/donations.asp


For more information and advice, contact the Aware Helpline at 1890 303 302