Services and supports during COVID-19

Introduction

This document lists the contact details for services and supports you might need during COVID-19.

The HSE has published advice for people at very high risk of becoming seriously ill if they become infected with COVID-19. This risk is much greater if you have not been vaccinated.

Community Call

The purpose of Community Call is to co-ordinate local services and make them easy to access for people who need them.

Local authorities have set up local Community Response Forums in each local authority area. You can get the contact details for the forum in your area in the list below. Or you can call 0818 222 024 8am to 8pm, Monday to Sunday. This number is being managed by the charity Alone which provides support for older or vulnerable people.

What kind of help is available?

Call the national number, or your local authority’s community response number if you need help with:

  • Shopping for food, fuel and other essential household items
  • Transport to medical appointments
  • Delivery of hot meals through local meals on wheels services
  • Collection of prescribed medicines

If you are not sure who you should call for your particular needs, the national helpline and the numbers listed below will be able to advise you.

Carlow County Council 1800 814 300 covidsupport@carlowcoco.ie
Cavan County Council 1800 300 404 covidsupport@cavancoco.ie
Clare County Council 1800 203 600 covidsupport@clarecoco.ie
Cork City Council 1800 222 226 covidsupport@corkcity.ie
Cork County Council 1800 805 819 covidsupport@corkcoco.ie
Donegal County Council 1800 928 982 covidsupport@donegalcoco.ie
Dublin City Council 01 222 8555 covidsupport@dublincity.ie
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council 01 271 3199 covidsupport@dlrcoco.ie
Fingal County Council 01 890 5000 covidsupport@leitrimcoco.ie
Galway City Council 1800 400 150 covidsupport@galwaycity.ie
Galway County Council 1800 928 894 and 091 509 390 covidsupport@galwaycoco.ie
Kerry County Council 1800 807 009 covidsupport@kerrycoco.ie
Kildare County Council 1800 300 174 covidsupport@kildarecoco.ie
Kilkenny County Council 1800 326 522 covidcommunity@kilkennycoco.ie
Laois County Council 1800 832 010 covidsupport@laoiscoco.ie
Leitrim County Council 1800 852 389 and 071 965 0473 covidsupport@leitrimcoco.ie
Limerick City and County Council 1800 832 005 covidsupport@limerick.ie
Longford County Council 1800 300 122 covidsupport@longfordcoco.ie
Louth County Council 1800 805 817 covidsupport@louthcoco.ie
Mayo County Council 094 906 4660 covidsupport@mayococo.ie
Meath County Council 1800 808 809 covidsupport@meathcoco.ie
Monaghan County Council 1800 804 158 covidsupport@monaghancoco.ie
Offaly County Council 1800 818 181 covidsupport@offalycoco.ie
Roscommon County Council 1800 200 727 covidsupport@roscommoncoco.ie
Sligo County Council 1800 292 765 covidsupport@sligococo.ie
South Dublin County Council 1800 240519 covidsupport@sdublincoco.ie
Tipperary County Council 076 106 5000 covid19@tipperarycoco.ie
Waterford City and County Council 1800 250 185 covidsupport@waterfordcouncil.ie
Westmeath County Council 1800 805 816 covidsupport@westmeathcoco.ie
Wexford County Council 053 919 6000 covidsupport@wexfordcoco.ie
Wicklow County Council 1800 868 399 covidsupport@wicklowcoco.ie

Services from An Post

An Post is providing extra services for older and more vulnerable people.

You can register with An Post to have a postman or postwoman call to your house during their delivery route. The postal worker can contact the Alone helpline on your behalf if you need help to access local services. You have to register for this service.

An Post also has a newspaper delivery service. You can get your daily newspaper delivered for no extra charge. You can register for this service on the An Post website.

If you have post that you want delivered, you can put a sign in your window that says I HAVE MAIL, and the postman or postwoman will collect it and send it for you free of charge until 31 December 2021.

You can send cards and letters for free to and from Nursing and Care homes in Ireland through An Post until 31 December 2021.

Shopping safely

Some shops have priority shopping times for elderly and vulnerable customers to reduce their risk of getting COVID-19. These special hours are usually in the morning but you should check with your local store. There may also be special arrangements for health care workers.

You must wear a face covering in supermarkets, shops and shopping centres. You should also take your own shopping bags.

Safefood has useful guidance on how to shop safely for groceries during COVID-19.

Shopping for older and vulnerable people

You can support family members, friends and neighbours who are at very high risk from COVID-19 by shopping for them. If you suspect a friend, relative or member of your local community needs help getting essential food and household items, you should get in touch to see how you can support them.

If you are shopping for a vulnerable person you should:

  • Leave the shopping on the doorstep
  • Ring the bell or phone them
  • Stand back while they collect it

You can find out more about local services through the Alone National Helpline. You can contact ALONE 7 days a week from 8am–8pm on 0818 222024.

Minding your mental health

This is a challenging time, and feelings of stress, anxiety and worry are normal. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and it is important you look after it during this time.

If you need to talk to someone urgently, you can call Samaritans at any time for free on 116 123.

If you cannot access face to face counselling, you can access many mental health services online, over the phone and by text. These include:

Samaritans

If you are in distress or struggling to cope:

  • Free-phone 116 123 (any time, day or night)
  • Email jo@samaritans.ie (for a response within 24 hours)

Pieta House

If you are suicidal or engaging in self-harm:

  • Free-phone 1800 247 247 (any time, day or night)
  • Text HELP to 51444 (standard rates apply)

Aware

If you need support with your own mood or the mood of a friend or family member:

  • Free-phone 1800 80 48 48 (from 10am to 10pm daily).
  • Email supportmail@aware.ie for a response within 24 hours.

50808

You can chat with a crisis volunteer:

  • Text HELLO to 50808 for free

Shine

Supports people with mental health difficulties and their families:

The HSE has a full list of online, phone and text mental health services.

Children

The Parents Centre provides a range of resources and advice on how to look after your children’s mental and emotional well-being during the pandemic.

The Department of Education's National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) has also published advice on how to talk to children and young people about COVID-19 (pdf).

Guidance and advice on supporting your child’s mental health and well-being is also available from the HSE’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

UNICEF has also issued advice on how to protect your family’s mental health during COVID-19.

Bereavement

The Irish Childhood Bereavement Network, in partnership with the Irish Hospice Foundation, has developed specific resources to help parents support a grieving child or young person in these exceptional times.

The Irish Hospice Foundation operates the Bereavement Support Line on 1800 807 077 from 10am – 1pm, Monday to Friday. The freephone service is for anyone who wants to talk about their experience or to ask questions relating to the death of someone during the COVID-19 pandemic, or a previous bereavement.

Barnardos, Ireland children's charity, also provide a children's bereavement service on 01 473 2110, 10am – 12pm, Monday to Thursday.

Parents

Barnardos is providing telephone support for parents in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19 on 1800 910 123, 10am – 2pm, Monday to Friday.

Parentline is a free, national, confidential helpline that offers parents support, information and guidance on all aspects of being a parent and any parenting issues. Call 1890 927 277, 10am – 9pm, Monday to Thursday, and 10am – 4pm on Friday.

National Parents Council (NPC) assists parents in supporting childhood learning. The NPC operates a helpline on 01 887 4477 or email helpline@npc.ie.

One Family provides parenting support and mediation support online and over the phone for people parenting alone. Call 1890 662 212, 10am – 1pm and 2pm – 3.30pm, Monday to Friday. It has also published a suite of COVID-19 resources for parents.

Treoir provides information and support services for unmarried parents. It operates a confidential helpline on 01 670 0120, 10am – 4pm, Monday to Friday or email info@treoir.ie. It also offers a call-back service.

Aware provides support services to people living with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and anyone concerned about a loved one. It operates its helpline 10am – 10pm, Monday to Sunday on 1800 80 48 48 or email supportmail@aware.ie.

Shine supports people with mental health difficulties. Information and support is available from phil@shineonline.ie.

General parenting advice is also available from:

Resources for children and teenagers

The Ombudsman for Children’s Office has put together information on COVID-19 for children.

UNICEF has published 6 strategies for teens facing a new (temporary) normal.

The HSE has issued detailed guidance for young people on how to look after your mental health during the pandemic.

Additionally, there are a range of support services available to children and young people throughout the country:

Childline (ISPCC) provides a 24-hour national listening service for young people up to the age of 18 on 1800 666 666. Alternatively, you can text 50101 or chat online from 10am – 4pm every day.

Teenline (ISPCC) is a 24-hour national active listening service for children and young people up to the age of 18 on 1800 833 634.

Jigsaw offers mental health support and advice to children and young people aged 12 to 25, and parents or concerned adults. Call 1800 544 729, 1pm – 5pm, Monday to Friday, or email help@jigsaw.ie.

Spunout.ie provides information and support for young people on many different topics including mental health. Text ‘SPUNOUT’ to 086 1800 280.

Turn2me Youth, a free online mental health service for young people aged 12–17, offers peer support, support groups and counselling online.

Empowering People in Care (EPIC) works with and for children and young adults who are currently in care or who have experience of being in care. EPIC offers an Advocacy Phone Support Service for children in care and care leavers on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2pm – 4pm on 01 963 1272. You can also request a call-back from an Advocacy Officer by texting 087 903 6598 or submit an online Advocacy Referral form.

Resources for people with a disability

The Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) has developed a ‘COVID-19 and Disability’ information hub. People in need of additional guidance or support should contact the DFI at info@disability-federation.ie.

AsIAm, the national autism charity and advocacy organisation, has compiled a range of online resources to help people with autism and their families cope with the massive changes caused by COVID-19.

Inclusion Ireland has published easy to read information to support people with intellectual disabilities and their families during COVID-19.

The HSE has issued detailed guidance on supporting someone with a disability during COVID-19.

Support services

People with a disability who require additional support during COVID-19 can also contact:

Domestic abuse and crisis contacts

Domestic abuse can affect women, men, children and other family members.

If you feel in immediate danger, call 112 or 999 as soon as it is safe to do so. The Gardaí are specially trained to deal with these situations.

Domestic abuse applications will continue to be given priority in the court system if a protection or interim barring order is needed.

Many organisations have extended and adapted their services during the pandemic due to increased demand for support. You can access a full list of domestic abuse support services. The Department of Justice and Equality's 'Still Here' campaign also offers a range of valuable guidance and advice for people suffering domestic abuse during the public health emergency, including information on how to make a safety plan to escape an abusive situation.

You can read more in our document about Family law and COVID-19.

If you are concerned about elder abuse, you can call the HSE helpline on 1850 24 1850, 8am – 8pm, Monday to Saturday. For further information visit the HSE’s website on elder abuse or Safeguarding Ireland. If you feel in immediate danger, contact the Gardaí.

Resources for exercising at home

If you would like to do some exercise at home, there are many resources to help.

Age & Opportunity broadcasts a series of 15-minute seated exercise sessions for older adults online. You can watch the exercise sessions live on Facebook at 11am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. You can also watch previous sessions on YouTube.

Cara Centre has also put together a series of 10-minute circuits that can be done at home or in your garden. The series includes adapted exercises for wheelchair users or people with reduced mobility. You can access these exercises every week.

Triathlon Ireland has shared a selection of at-home workout videos too. The videos include at-home strength sessions and nutrition advice. You can watch the exercise sessions on YouTube.

You can find more exercise resources on the Sport Ireland website.

Religious services

All religious services can take place, including communions and confirmations. There is no limit on numbers attending. Protective measures must be in place.

Weddings can take place with no limit on numbers attending. Protective measures must be in place. Live music is permitted.

You can read more about COVID-19 restrictions.

Christian denominations

If you are unable to attend a place of worship in person, you can watch many church services online. You can find links to a variety of church services (as well as scheduled mass and service times), from the following websites:

Evangelical Alliance Ireland has an online church service directory of evangelical and non-denominational Christian churches.

If you do not have access to the internet, RTÉ News Now shows mass at 10am every weekday from St Eunan’s and St Columba’s Cathedral, Letterkenny, Co Donegal.

You can watch RTÉ News Now on:

  • Saorview, channel 21
  • Sky, channel 521
  • Virgin Media, channel 200
  • Eir, channel 517
  • RTÉ Player or RTÉ News Now app

Islam

The Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland broadcasts prayers live on its website. You can follow the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland on Twitter and Facebook.

Judaism

For details of Jewish prayer services during COVID-19, you can phone the Jewish Representative Council of Ireland on (01) 546 1096. Alternatively, you can email them on office@jewishireland.org.

Further information

If you want to volunteer in your local community, you can read Government advice for volunteers. You can also contact your local volunteer service.

You can get the latest updates on COVID-19 on gov.ie.The Government’s ‘In This Together’ campaign provides guidance and information on a range of issues concerning families, with tips on looking after yourself and your family, to advice on staying active and eating healthily.

Page edited: 26 October 2021