Cura acknowledges important role of training to meet new challenges

08 Mar 2013

Cura acknowledges important role of training to meet new challenges

 150 Cura counsellors gather at national conference in Cork

Cura, the national crisis pregnancy counselling service, will open its 27th annual conference this evening in the Silver Springs Hotel, Cork.  2013 also marks 36 years of service by Cura at a national level.  This year’s theme is ‘The Holding Space’ and the two-day event will focus on the role of the crisis pregnancy counsellor and the on-going challenges, responsibilities, boundaries and opportunities faced by counsellors in their day-to-day work.  Over 150 delegates will attend this event, and they represent Cura’s fourteen centres and numerous outreach facilities countrywide.

The conference opening will be addressed by a number of guest speakers.  Bishop Éamonn Walsh, President of Cura and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Dublin; Dr Kevin Kelleher, Assistant National Director, HSE – ISD – Health Protection, National Office for Public Health;  Ruth Murray, Schools of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork and Cura Cork Management Committee member; Louise Graham, Cura National Co-ordinator and Susan Curtin, Cura Cork Centre Manager.

All acknowledged the important role counsellors play in supporting clients in a crisis pregnancy situation and the benefits of continuous skills training.

Tomorrow, the second day of the conference, will be addressed by Dr Colm O’ Connor, clinical psychologist and family therapist; and Christy Kenneally, poet, broadcaster and international conference speaker who will facilitate training workshops around continued professional development relating to the conference theme.

In 2012, Cura had 1,664 client contacts; 1,134 clients presented for crisis pregnancy counselling; 426 clients presented for counselling after an abortion; and 104 clients presented for support after the birth of a new baby.  The Cura Schools Awareness Programme has continued to grow with the school team visiting 176 schools and addressing 6,217 students.

Speaking ahead of the annual conference in Cork Louise Graham, Cura National Co-ordinator said, “Our annual conference provides an opportunity for on-going skills development and sharing of and learning from experiences of counsellors throughout the network of Cura centres.  It provides a national forum for discussion and planning for future development and delivery of the range of Cura services.  It is also an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the enormous work of our dedicated volunteer counsellors.  Cura is delighted to host our national conference in Cork this year and we are grateful for the welcome that we have received.”

Cura Cork is 35 years old in 2013.  Commenting on Cura Cork’s 35th celebrations this year centre manager Susan Curtin said, “Cura is very proud to be celebrating 35 years of service provision to the people of Cork.  Over the past three and a half decades, we have witnessed many new developments in counselling.  Our counsellors continue to meet new challenges and changing needs of clients.  Cura provides a free, confidential and non-judgmental service.  Our counsellors are professionally trained and available to meet clients at short notice.”

Since its establishment by the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference in 1977, Cura has provided a very valuable national service to women facing crisis pregnancies.  Key Cura services include: crisis or unplanned pregnancy support and counselling; counselling after an abortion; support to mothers and fathers of a new baby; and, the Cura schools awareness programme.


Notes to Editors

  • Cura is a crisis pregnancy counselling service offering support and information to anyone: experiencing an unplanned pregnancy; after an abortion; and/or facing the challenges of being parent to a new baby.  Cura is an agency of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference and is funded by the Crisis Pregnancy Programme of the Health Service Executive.  Cura has 180 active crisis pregnancy counsellors.  Representatives from Cura centres across the country – Athlone, Cork, Dublin (city centre, Blanchardstown and Tallaght), Drogheda, Dundalk, Ennis, Galway, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick, Monaghan, Sligo, Thurles, Waterford, Wexford and Gorey – will be in attendance at the Cura annual conference in Cork.
  • Services provided by Cura:

–          Crisis or unplanned pregnancy support and counselling

–          Pregnancy testing

–          Counselling after an abortion

–          Support to mothers and fathers of a new baby

–          Cura schools awareness programme

–          Cura’s services extend beyond the person experiencing the pregnancy and are available to men and other to family members

–          Cura’s services are available at any-time during a pregnancy and after.

–          Counselling sessions give the client an opportunity to consider her pregnancy objectively and to discuss their options openly, with an experienced, professionally trained counsellor in a safe, non-judgmental environment

–          Cura provides a relevant, consistent and effective service to meet client’s needs

–          Cura respects the client’s right to self-determination

–          Cura services are free of charge

–          Cura services can be accessed through the national helpline 1850 622626, at any of the Cura centres, by telephone or by dropping in during opening hours (no appointment necessary except for counselling after an abortion service).  If opening hours do not suit, an appointment can be arranged outside of opening hours.

–          For more information visit Cura’s website on


For media contact: Noreen Keane, Cura PRO, 087 7781777 or [email protected]    Photographs to be syndicated to photodesks b