You are not alone
Life of an immigrant in Ireland is not easy. The difficulties include new environment, new culture, language and stress related to making a new life for yourself in a different country.
Many people deal well with these changes, but there are those who simply can't handle the challenges of everyday life. Such stress includes social, physical and mental aspects.
The feelings of isolation, of being different and low self-esteem lead to sadness, nostalgia, alienation, but also depression and addiction. On top of it all, we have been dealing with a pandemic since March 2020, and the world around us has changed in a matter of weeks. We have all been forced to self-isolate and limit our movements and social interactions. Frequently, such restrictions have been accompanied by stress, uncertainty, fear, low mood, helplessness. The fear of what the future will bring, thoughts of passing, fear of death and concern for family abroad creep in.
All these feelings lead to the development of addictions which has been confirmed by recent statistical data.
The issue of addictions developing in the home has become alarming. Online casinos and bookmakers are easily accessible during lockdown which leads to addictive behaviours.
In Together-Razem, the issue of problem gambling and other addictions has been noted thanks to our U-Clinic. Since March 2020, when the world as we knew it changed, we have been operating remotely and we have noticed a significant increase in a gambling addiction. Helping people remotely might not be the best long-term solution, but we continue to up-skill and we have managed to increase our reach to all of Ireland. This way, we can get to anyone who might need professional counselling.We know well how important it is to be able to talk to someone about our challenges in our native tongue, especially in these difficult times, to talk to someone who knows our culture and who will professionally deal with our problems.
Since May 2021, thanks to the financial support of the Gambling Trust, we have begun working on a new project called "You are not alone". Together with the Romanian Community in Ireland, we now offer Polish and Romanian immigrants access to free counselling sessions.