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New centre to help serving and retired Defence Forces personnel opens in Cork

The new centre is in a refurbished building in Collins Barracks, Cork.

A NEW CENTRE to help serving and retired members of the Defence Forces deal with crises such as mental health and financial problems has opened in Cork. 

The Personnel Support Service Building and Veteran Support Centre was officially opened by Minister for Defence Simon Coveney today in Collins Barracks. 

Commandant Denise Burke, a Defence Forces spokesperson, said the facility will assist veterans and serving members and offers guidance, counselling services and other supports.

“The Personnel Support Service (PSS), established in 1993, is a team of trained military personnel and occupational social workers located in all Defence Forces installations in the state and providing support to all personnel deployed overseas.  

“The blend of trained and experienced line NCOs and officers, with the skills and perspectives of civilian social workers, provides the Defence Forces with a powerful and effective platform for supporting military personnel and their families. 

“PSS teams achieve this mission through the provision of support services to military personnel and their families, ranging from routine advice, guidance and signposting, to more specialised and focused services.

“PSS services are confidential and professional, and teams are trained to offer counselling support for a variety of issues, including relationships, coping with addiction and many others,” she said. 

The centres are not alone focused on the troops themselves but also offer outreach to their families through confidential services including guidance, information, signposting and counselling.

The mental health supports include help with wellbeing, suicide awareness and prevention, coping with deployment overseas and financial guidance.

Minister Coveney said the refurbishment of disused former Married Quarters houses in the camp have been used for the facility. 

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“The completion of this new facility provides all-inclusive facilities to cater for the provision of the Personnel Support Service and the Veterans Support Centre at Collins Barracks.

“It will provide support facilities for both serving personnel, Defence Forces veterans and their families in a private area where issues of a sensitive nature can be addressed”.

Coveney paid tribute to all those involved in delivering the facility at a cost of €360,000.

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