For mental health services and organisations that support those with different health conditions, the pandemic has had a significant impact.

Covid-19 has had knock-on effects on many aspects of life, especially for those living with other health conditions.

Speaking at breakout panel discussion at Future Human 2020, Aware’s Dominic Layden, the Irish Society of Colitis and Crohn’s Disease’s Amy Kelly and the Irish Cancer Society’s Dr Robert O’Connor talked about the challenges they’ve faced in terms of their communities and their fundraising.

“When the first lockdown came, we saw a dramatic increase in calls to our support line and our email service,” said Layden, who is CEO of depression support organisation Aware. “We were looking at around 60pc increases in calls to our line compared to the previous year in April, May and June.”

O’Connor also spoke about the loss of Daffodil Day in March, the Irish Cancer Society’s major annual initiative to raise funds for cancer research and patient supports. “Without [fundraising], each of our organisations is essentially dead in the water so it is a challenging situation at the minute,” he said.


Words by Jenny Darmody