The Koram Centre is Strabane’s Listening Ear and Counselling Association. It was formed some nine years ago in 1995. Over the years the Centre has provided one to one support to increasing numbers of vulnerable people and in 2000 the emphasis moved from being a befriending service to that of a listening ear. Ongoing developments led to the hiring of counsellors with specific expertise to deal with the volume and nature of the cases presenting for counselling. As a result of consolidation of the services provided and increased confidence by the volunteers and counsellors and indeed the management committee the Centre continued to grow. Today the Centre has eleven volunteers, five counsellors including a Counselling Supervisor and three staff. However the Centre continues to depend on funding from various sources including Government Agencies, European Programmes, street collections and other fund raising activities for its existence. It now plans to be more commercial by providing its services for a fee to various organisations and businesses and to use the profits from this service to help it obtain sustainability within the next five years.
It is estimated that one in six people within Northern Ireland will suffer from a medically identified mental illness at any one time, ranging from the more common conditions such as mild depression to severe mental illness. Over 100,000 people seen by GPs each year will be diagnosed as having some form of mental illness. Research also indicates the serious impact the ‘Troubles’ continue to have on psychological wellbeing. It is estimated that the mental health needs of Northern Ireland people are at least 25% greater than England.
Source: WHSSB – Health and Wellbeing Investment Plan 2003/2004
The Mission Statement of the Centre is:
"To provide a caring and confidential, listening ear service with access to counselling. This support service is open to all."
Aims & Objectives
The Aims & Objectives of The Koram Centre are:
- To provide a quality service to people at their point of need and which respects their confidentiality,
- To respect the rights of the individual,
- To assist victims and survivors in the furtherance of their healing and realise their own potential,
- To provide an environment of safety and quality, where people are free to explore common issues with others in a therapeutic framework,
- To introduce a range of approaches, programmes and techniques which complement the individuals personal and professional development,
- To use holistic methods for promoting health and well-being, and
- To enable users of the service to empower themselves to understand themselves more deeply in order to change unfulfilling aspects of their lives.
- To become a sustainable enterprise by 2010,
- To impact on peace building through the provision of counselling services to those traumatised or effected by the conflict, and
- To work in partnership with both Trusts – The Foyle Health and Social Services Trust and The Sperrin/Lakeland Health Services Trust
- To deliver quality counselling services to those who need it when they need it.