A new Midlands centre for the suicide and self-harm charity Pieta House opened in Irishtown, Athlone, last week.
The service is located in a newly refurbished premises at 92 Sean Costello Street. The building had been occupied by Elliott's opticians for many years before briefly serving as a base for the now-defunct suicide charity, Console.
Ger Tiernan of Pieta House told the Westmeath Independent that, between full-time and part-time staff, there will be a team of six counsellors working at the centre. It will be open from Monday to Saturday and the opening hours will be determined by clients' needs.
The service is designed to cater for people who are at risk of suicide, engaging in self-harming behaviour, or have been bereaved by suicide.
A €50,000 redesign and refurbishment project was carried out in recent months in order to prepare the centre for this week's opening.
Pieta House said that, since its establishment in 2006, the charity has seen over 30,000 clients across Ireland free of charge.
Appointments can be made by contacting the centre directly (090 64 24111), by contacting the Pieta House 24/7 helpline (1800 247 247), or through GP referrals.