Minding your mental health during COVID-19

Infectious disease outbreaks like coronavirus (COVID-19), can be worrying. The spread of coronavirus is a new and challenging event. This is a concerning time for many women in Ireland.

School and crèche closures have put extra pressure on many women to look after their families and loved ones, this can be especially challenging for lone parents. Women in abusive relationships may be worried about their safety. Older women may be especially concerned about their health.

These circumstances can all impact our mental health. You may notice your anxiety increase, you may feel stressed, irritable, helpless or have trouble sleeping. Even though it might be difficult right now it is important to look after your own mental health.

Find information on minding your mental health during times like this on the HSE website.

Keep up a healthy routine to your best ability during this time can be helpful. This might include:

Do you need to talk to someone now? Free call Samaritans on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.ie


FAQ's for HSE Mental Health Service Users

During COVID-19 the HSE wishes to assure you that your community mental health team will continue to provide care and treatment to ensure your recovery and wellbeing are maintained.

Find FAQ's for HSE mental health service users here. 


Reliable Information on COVID-19

The constant stream of social media updates and news reports about coronavirus could cause you to feel worried. Sometimes it can be difficult to separate facts from rumours. Use trustworthy and reliable sources to get your news. You can find reliable information and updates on COVID-19 here:

Updates from Department of Health.

Updates from HSE.

Updates from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre including guidance for employers, education, transport and other sectors.

Easy to read document on COVID-19 from Inclusion Ireland here.

Easy to read guide to good hand washing practice from Inclusion Ireland here.


Specific supports:

Women experiencing emotional, physical and sexual violence

For many reasons, the home is often not a safe place for women experiencing domestic abuse, and this may be heightened during COVID-19. For women feeling worried about the impact of COVID-19 on emergency plans and their safety at home there are a number of supports available:”

If you feel in immediate danger please contact the Gardaí or call 999 or 112.

Women’s Aid

Women’s Aid can help you if you are experiencing emotional or physical domestic violence. You can call their 24 hour National Freephone Helpline on 1800 341 900.

Text service for Deaf and Hard of Hearing women available daily on 087 959 7980.

Online chat service available Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 7pm – 10pm at https://www.womensaid.ie/

Find more information on supports for domestic abuse, domestic violence orders and refuge spaces on the Women’s Aid website.

If you're worried someone might see you have been on this page, you can cover your tracks. Read advice from Woman's Aid about covering your tracks online.

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre

The National 24-Hour Freephone Rape Crisis Helpline 1800 77 88 88 will remain open for those who need to access crisis counselling and support.

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre are adjusting how they deliver their services during COVID-19.

Find out about these arrangements on the Dublin Rape Crisis website.


Older women


SeniorLine is a FREEPHONE National confidential listening service for older people. Older callers can call free between 10am and 10pm every day of the year on 1800 804 591.

Find more information on supports for older people on the Third Age website.


ALONE have launched COVID-19 support line for older people, working in collaboration with the Department of Health and the HSE. Phone 0818 222 024 from 8am – 8pm, 7 days a week.


Women who are carers

Find FAQ's on HSE mental health services for family members, carers and supporters of service users here. 

Many women may be under added pressure to provide care for their families and older people during this time. This can cause anxiety and stress. It is important to look after your own mental health as well as your family’s health during this time.

One Family

OneFamily has a helpline for people parenting alone, sharing parenting, separating, or experiencing a crisis pregnancy. Call 1890 66 2212 or 01 662 9212 or email support@onefamily.ie

Care Alliance Ireland

Care Alliance Ireland have set up an online family carer support group on Facebook. Please note you will need a Facebook account to access this private group. Join the support group here.

Family Carers Ireland

Family Carers Ireland offers a confidential, friendly and supportive Careline. Freephone 1800 24 07 24, Mon-Fri 9am – 8pm, Saturday 10am – 12 noon.


Barnardos has launched a national telephone support service for parents in response to the challenges they are facing during the Covid-19 pandemic. This service will be staffed by Barnardos project workers who are trained professionals. Call 1800 910 123, Mon-Fri, 10am-2pm.


Younger women

Younger women may find it difficult to be at home and away from their friends and peers.


SpunOut offer a text message support service which is available 24 hours. Text SPUNOUT to 086 1800 280. Standard SMS rates may apply.


BodywhysConnect is a free, online support group currently offered to people with eating disorders aged 19 years and over. Find out more information here.

YouthConnect is a free, online support group currently offered to people with eating disorders aged 13-18 years. Find out more information here.


LGBT+ Women

LGBT Ireland

LGBT Ireland have a helpline for LGBT people who need support. Call 1800 929 539 or visit www.lgbt.ie (They also offer a trans support line on 3rd Sunday of each month, 6pm - 9pm).

Transgender Equality Network Ireland

TENI have information on HRT, binding, prescriptions and support groups on their website.

Find information on HRT, binding and more on the TENI website here.

Find information on TENI support groups on their website here or email keeva@teni.ie.


Women living with Eating Disorders

Self Care App: This is a support app for people with eating disorders and people who care for them. Find out more information and download the app here.

Further information also available on the BodyWhys website here.  


Women living with addiction

The HSE has a confidential freephone helpline for those seeking support, information, guidance and referral on anything to do with substance use and alcohol. You can phone the helpline on 1800 459 459 from Monday to Friday between 9:30 am and 5:30 pm or email them on helpline@hse.ie 


The Drugs.ie service directory can help you find the contact details for a local service so you can see what way they are operating during COVID-19. These times may change frequently. 

Find a local service here.

Find more information and supports on the Drugs.ie website.

Alcoholics Anonymous

There have been changes to AA meetings nationwide with many meetings now taking place online.

Find details about AA online groups here.

Narcotics Anonymous Ireland 

Narcotics Anonymous is a non-profit fellowship of women and men. Online meetings are available during COVID-19.

Find details about Narcotics Anonymous online meetings here.

Narcotics Anonymous International also provide online supports. Find details of international online supports here. 

SMART Recovery

SMART recovery is a non-faith based behaviour change support groupSMART Recovery Online (SROL) is an online community where individuals with addiction, their Family & Friends, and other specialized audiences can interact with SMART Recovery volunteers and each other to aid in overcoming addiction.

Find details of their online groups here.


Women seeking abortion services


My Options is a HSE freephone line that provides free and confidential information and counselling to people experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. They also provide support online via webchat, services through Irish sign language, and interpreters for those who don't speak English. Find out more about MyOptions services and how to contact them here.  

Dublin Well Woman Centre

Dublin Well Woman Centre provides support to women around crisis pregnancy, including Crisis or Unplanned Pregnancy Counselling, and After-Abortion Counselling. For the duration of the COVID19 crisis, these services have moved to a telephone basis, but are still being provided by their team of accredited counsellors. They also provide access to Early Medical Abortions for women. Find out about Well Woman Centre services here.

Irish Family Planning Association 

The IFPA is committed to providing sexual and reproductive healthcare as far as possible during COVID-19, including Early Medical Abortion services and post abortion counselling. 

Find out what IFPA services are available and how to contact them here. 


We are seeking to provide the most up to date and accurate information as possible. We are asking our members to send us information on services they are providing for women during COVID-19.   

If your organisation is offering supports for women or has resources relevant to women during COVID-19 please email them to Silke at silkep@nwci.ie   


Further information for women during COVID-19: