The National Council of the Society St. Vincent de Paul has expressed great concern about the increasing depth and complexity of the problems facing people who are asking for its help.
The Council, which is composed of the leaders of the Society from all over the country, met in Kerdiffstown, County Kildare and was told by its National President that those seeking assistance now came from all social classes.
The SVP is the biggest voluntary charitable organisation in Ireland. It has launched a joint initiative with the Irish Association of Suicidology to help members understand more about the effects that the current social and economic crisis is causing in mental health problems.
This nationwide initiative is intended to help SVP members to identify problems and to be aware of mental health issues arising because of stress brought on by the financial problems which people are experiencing.
“We are being approached by people who had run their own small businesses, by people who never, ever thought they would not have enough money to live on, by migrants who are in desperate circumstances,” Mairead Bushnell told the SVP National Council. “It is the most challenging time this Society has ever faced.”
She said that the study released by the country’s credit unions, showing that 250,000 people did not have enough money underlined how difficult things were. Many of the Society’s parish-based Conferences feared that the worst was yet to come.