Jane was always feeling angry but could not understand where it was coming from – until she started attending free therapy and realised that her rage was directed at specific people in her life.

Her psychotherapist helped her see that, while she can’t change the way others behave, she can manage the way she feels and reacts and keep toxic influences at arm’s length. Since then, she is more at peace with herself.

The woman, whose name is fictitious, was one of the hundreds of people who made use of free therapy sessions offered by the Richmond Foundation that supports people with mental health problems and their families. 

In an effort to open this free service to more people who need it, the Richmond Foundation has launched the Gift of Therapy campaign through which people can make a donation to the foundation, in the form of €50 therapy vouchers. 
The money will go towards offering free therapy to people who cannot afford to pay for the service privately. 

Supporting the nation's mental health

Richmond, a voluntary organisation, currently provides around 3,600 therapy sessions a year. Therapy is provided by professionals and the cost to offer such service runs into thousands of euros each year. 

Therapy enhances personal growth and empowers people experiencing distress to better deal with life’s issues.

“Therapy sessions offer an opportunity to receive support and deal with issues that are affecting a person negatively. Persons who need therapy might not be able to afford it. Therapy enhances personal growth and empowers people experiencing distress to better deal with life’s issues. Therapy also enhances the coping skills of those with longer-term mental health problems,” the foundation said.

International statistics show that one in four people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives. This number is expected to rise to one in three. This means that, in Malta, there are around 150,000 people who already have or will be affected with mental problems.

Speaking during the launch of the helpline Freephone 1770 in March, Richmond CEO Stephania Dimech Sant said that in Malta, 6.8% of the population reported passing through chronic depression – that’s 32,000 people. 

From all those who develop a mental health illness throughout their life, 75% show symptoms before the age of 25, she added.

Through the Gift of Therapy campaign, sponsored by RightBrain, Richmond is inviting individuals, business companies and organisations to contribute to the mental health of the nation, by purchasing vouchers for therapy. 
Each Gift of Therapy voucher costs €50. Vouchers can be bought by visiting 
the Richmond Foundation website.

For more information contact tracy.glynn@richmond.org.mt or on 2148 2336 / 2122 4580.