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Client Testimonials

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Mary - 21

I became aware of S.M.I.L.E whilst looking for support to help overcome my depression and anxiety as they were severely affecting my day to day life. It was my mum who originally contacted them via email to find out if they could help me. Since that first point of contact S.M.I.L.E have been nothing but understanding, supportive and welcoming. Declan replied to my mum the same day she emailed encouraging me to fill out the referral for so he could begin helping me. 

Once Declan had my details I was invited for an initial meeting early the same week. Attending this was particularly difficult as I was unsure if I would be comfortable discussing my problems with anyone. The room they use is small and welcoming and Declan has always created an atmosphere where I feel I can divulge my thoughts without fear of judgement since I first met with him. 

I have attended sessions with Declan weekly where I am free to discuss any topic I feel I need to. At my sessions Declan allows me to lead the conversation in whatever direction I need to helping me to process my emotions in my own time. The S.M.I.L.E office is my sanctuary for the duration of my sessions and if I don’t want to talk as much at one session it is reassuring to know there is someone to sit with me when I need it. The great thing about S.M.I.L.E is that they always cater to me as an individual- Declan comes up with ways for me to understand or process my thoughts and provides me with coping mechanisms that appeal to both my personality and learning style. If I am having difficulty with any challenges during the week I know I can always contact S.M.I.L.E and they will endeavour to help me overcome them by speaking to me either by email/phone or by arranging an additional session.  

The progress I have made since I started attending S.M.I.L.E is remarkable. With them I have a safe place to go to not only release my emotions but also to discuss them and, ultimately, move past them so I can live a healthy life. Declan is giving me the tools I need to recover and I have no doubt that without S.M.I.L.E’s support I would not have reached the stage I am at today. 

The work Declan and S.M.I.L.E are doing is completely invaluable in my community. They are providing a lifeline for those that need it most and may not otherwise receive it. I cannot emphasise enough the positive impact they are having on myself, and will surely be having on the lives of everyone they are helping. 

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Jane - 19

I was first made aware of S.M.I.L.E through a conversation with Declan. That day I was told by my GP that I was in fact suffering from anxiety which was brought on through recent events in my life.

I approached Declan to see if he knew anybody offering a service for people suffering from anxiety, this was when he informed me of S.M.I.L.E. For me that was the toughest part approaching someone for help. Thanks to Declan he got me to fill out a self-referral form and I began seeing him later that week.

My first session was the most difficult of all my sessions as I didn’t know what to expect and I don’t like discussing my problems/feelings. Until I walked through the door at S.M.I.L.E I was virtually unable to live a normal life, I had to give up my dancing which I dedicated all my time to, my volunteering, my friends, shopping etc.

This was horrendous and brought me right down, but since entering that door on my first session Declan was amazing, so welcoming and understanding. I wasn’t the easiest to get to open up due to feeling that my problems weren’t bad enough for me to require help.

A few weeks past and I became confident enough that Declan was there to listen and help and that’s exactly what he done! Nothing was too big or small for him to help with! We spoke through my problems and discussed ways to enable me to come over my anxiety as I became more and more adamant for me to beat it!

Each week I set my self a new realistic goal so when I appeared at my sessions I had something to be proud off and thanks to Declan within 14 sessions I was feeling my sort of normal again! Back dancing, shopping, going out but most importantly living a normal 19 years old life!

Declan was so supportive and provided me with tools to help me get over my anxiety and learn to put myself first instead of fixing everyone else’s problems first before my own!

Without the service that S.M.I.L.E offer I wouldn’t be in the place I am today, being the happy 19 year old I used to be or living the amazing life I am now and for that I will never be done thanking S.M.I.L.E. I know they are such an amazing organisation and provide so much help and support to many others, I know that everyone that they help feel so grateful.