Northern Ireland news

Accord launches helpline to support couples struggling with lockdown

Accord has launched a new support line to help couples cope with coronavirus restrictions
Seamus McKinney

THE Catholic Church’s Accord relationship counselling service has launched a new helpline to support couples experiencing problems because of the coronavirus lockdown.

Experts have warned of an increase in marriage and relationship issues as couples are confined to self-isolation, with lawyers also predicting a rise in the divorce rate.

With 54 centres across Ireland, the Catholic Church’s Accord service provides pre-marriage courses as well as a counselling service for couples experiencing marital and relationship challenges.

It has now launched a new telephone helpline to assist those experiencing problems because of coronavirus lockdown measures.

Spokeswoman Mary Johnston said it would be staffed by experienced couples and relationship counsellors.

While the service is free, calls would be charged at a local rate.

“Accord is very conscious of those experiencing difficulties in their relationships and family lives as we are confined to home during this unprecedented period for all in society.

“The circumstances in which we are living now can increase stress and pressure on relationships and in families.

"To help address these challenges, Accord has established a relationship support phone line to enable callers to speak to experienced couples and relationship counsellors to talk through the difficulties they are experience,” Ms Johnston said.

The helpline will operate from 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday and can be accessed in Northern Ireland on 028 9568 0151 or 00 353 1 531331. Accord can be accessed in Dublin on 01 531331.

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