The Irish Women’s Service
International Women's Day Portrait of Multi Ethnic Mixed Age Range Women Looking Confidently towards Camera

Specialist mental health support for Irish women and women of Irish heritage

The Irish Women’s Service (formerly the Irish Women’s Project) is a specialist mental health initiative that helps Irish women and women of Irish descent to explore issues relating to their culture and heritage. As our longest-running specialist service, this support includes those from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The initiative has continually supported generations of Irish women in London, including Traveller, migrant and migrant-descendant communities. This approach informs our understanding of transgenerational trauma, allowing us to work effectively with the daughters and granddaughters of immigrants who have been impacted by the adverse experiences of their parents or grandparents.

Moreover, the Irish Women’s Service extends its resources to Irish women belonging to any faith (including atheism), any race, any sexual orientation, and any neurotype, acknowledging the complexity and nuance within Irish female identities. The programme is and has always been an Irish women-for-Irish women initiative, enabling our therapists to intimately consider how diverse Irish identities intersect with women’s lived experiences of gender-based violence, abuse, trauma, and/or loss. We also consider how these events can compound feelings of isolation and a loss of identity, especially when physically detached from one’s ancestral land or social upbringing. In recent decades, we have worked with survivors of institutional abuse, multi-heritage women and Traveller women to aid mental health and emotional wellbeing journeys against the backdrop of minoritisation within an already minoritised group.

How do I qualify?  

Those wishing to access this service must be low-income women aged 18 or over who are living in London, with priority given to those based in Islington and surrounding boroughs. Additionally, you must have been born within the 32 counties of Ireland (inclusive of Northern Ireland) or have a minimum of one Irish grandparent. Please tick the box on the front of the referral form or call us for further information if you believe you qualify.

We could not continue to offer this service to Irish women in London without the years of help from the Emigrant Support Programme of the Irish Government. We are grateful for their unwavering commitment to the work of The Maya Centre.

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