ts and can often lead to thoughts of people taking their own lives.

“There is a big range of issues that people come to us about, you couldn’t pin it down to one particular thing. But the root cause for our clients are issues of confidence and self-esteem, however that has happened. Self-esteem gets to such a low ebb they can become suicidal.”

But one positive she has noticed is that people are much more willing to talk about their mental health and it is no longer the taboo it may have been in the early nineties.

“In ‘93 it would have been typical that counselling and the need for counselling wasn’t something that people really talked about or they had different ways of dealing with problems, perhaps just burying their head in the sand.

“Now it has become much more acceptable for people to talk. Everybody needs to talk and people are much more open to referring themselves for counselling support or getting their GP to refer them to counseling support. The presentation of counselling in schools has really helped that as well.”

After going from strength to strength in the last 18 years Karen says they are looking forward to continuing to service the community for the next 18.

“I think the community use the service really well here and through the growth of the organisation the services we provide to the community in Ardoyne has remained, it is very much here for the local community first and foremost and others secondary.

“We would like to thank everyone who has supported New Life Counselling and everyone who has used our services over the past 18 years.”

New Life Counselling – 18 Years on and We’re Still Listening is available now from their offices on 25 Ardoyne Road. Although the book is free there is a suggested minimum donation of £8.