Counselling Service for Former Residents of Mother and Baby Homes

The Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes was established by Government in 2015 to provide a full account of what happened to women and children in Mother and Baby home institutions during the period 1922 to 1998.

A Collaborative Forum was also established to make recommendations relating to health and well-being supports for former residents.

In response to these recommendations, the Government committed to developing a package of health and well-being measures. The importance of ensuring former residents’ mental health and specific need for psychological support was recognised and prioritised. 

The National Counselling Service (NCS) was asked to provide counselling to former residents through its counselling locations:

  •  The HSE’s NCS has 20 years of experience in providing counselling and psychotherapy to a wide range of clients including those who have experienced psychological difficulties due to time spent in institutions.
  •  Counselling is available face to face, by telephone or online through secure video.

This service is available to adults living in Ireland if you are a former resident of Mother and Baby Homes (mothers or children).



How you can access this service


Referral Process

Access to the National Counselling Service for former residents may be made by direct self-referral. You can do this by referring yourself to the service that is nearest to you.

We will also accept written referrals from health care professionals such as GPs.

Individuals referred will be offered an initial assessment appointment. This to establish if the NCS is the appropriate service to meet a person’s needs at this time.

If counselling is appropriate the next available counselling place will be offered.

When making a referral to the NCS it would be helpful to identify if you are a former resident of a mother and baby home.

This will ensure you are prioritised for the next available counselling place.


Contact Details

You can find out about your nearest counselling service by contacting the HSE region which looks after your county.

Please see our full list of contact details here.


Outside of office hours

Anonymous telephone support is available from Connect Counselling, a HSE funded service. Freephone 1800 477 477 from 6pm to 10pm every day (7 days a week).


Other Support Options

Visit for more mental health support options including phone, text and online