A funding crisis is forcing the Family Addiction Support Network (FASN) to close its doors permanently by July. FASN was established in 2002 as a network of community members supporting others in the community who were affected by familial alcohol or drug use.
After nearly 20 years supporting family members and loved ones of those in addiction, Jackie McKenna, FASN Project Coordinator is gravely concerned that without appropriate funding being allocated, FASN will have to close their doors by July and turn desperate family members away without support.
“It is simply impossible for us to continue providing the level of support services we do without appropriate funding” said Jackie McKenna, “We have 2 full time volunteers, and a number of part time volunteers who give up their time week in and week out. But the level of time and support being given on a volunteer basis cannot be maintained as the demand for our services is growing substantially week in, week out. For our organisation to survive into the future and for us to deliver a sustainable service consistently, ethically and safely – we need €138,000”.
Jackie McKenna added “We are now in a desperate position and really are just going back to the drawing board calling on our local politicians, the HSE and government to help us to work out what funding can be committed to us quickly that is feasible and sustainable. As a group we are fully committed to providing support services to desperate family members who should never have to cope alone with their family member’s addiction and the chaos and devastation it brings. We do not want to stop providing our services and supporting members of our community, so we are calling on the Government to ensure that we do not have to turn anyone away and tell them we cannot offer them support – simply due to a lack of funding. Our very real fear is if we close our doors – where will the people – parents, partners, children and siblings – turn to if we are not there. Who out there is willing to help them? Over the last 20 years we have built a support model that we know works – a model that makes a real difference to family member’s lives. If this support model is supported with €138,000 amount of funding – we can make a real difference to families experiencing addiction issues – which in turn benefits the wider community.
There is clear evidence that substance misuse and the devastation it creates is on the increase and the number of families reaching out for help is also increasing month for month.
Sadly, even with the increased presence of Gardai due to Covid 19 restrictions and checkpoints, the drugs trade is still on the increase and reaching every corner of Ireland. In Mayo, for example, drug crime was up by 97 per cent, compared to 2019. Other increases include Cavan (44 per cent increase); Louth (24 per cent); Sligo-Leitrim (20 per cent) to mention but a few. Drugs are not going away …every one of us is living and parenting in this now ‘norm’ drug culture so it makes sense for the Government to be proactive and protect the public from threats to health & wellbeing.
Quotes from family members when asked what they got from Family Support.
“Family Support took me and my family out of hell and gave me the strength I’d lost.”
“A lifesaver, the 5 step was amazing, as soon as I came in the door, I knew this was the place for me”.
“My life was chaotic, I was unable to cope, I am still being supported and I take lots from it.”
“I think if I hadn’t come to family support either I’d be dead, or my daughter would. It kept us alive”.
We are in crisis regarding funding and have been for a number of years. We have made numerous attempts through funding applications to the HSE and other potential Funders to ensure that there is core-funding to administer and develop the services securing what is a vital resource to the community. We have had a number of meetings with the Task Force and the HSE and while they acknowledge the incredible work FASN does to support distressed families, no definite commitment to secure the necessary funding for FASN to continue has been received. Our fundraising efforts by our volunteers has kept the service going until Covid-19 struck and our ability to generate funds through fundraising has all but dried up.
We urgently require support.
We have invited TD’s across the North East to meet with us and to call on the Government for immediate financial intervention to keep the service open to enable FASN continue to deliver a life line to incredibly vulnerable families. The measure of any healthy society is how they treat their most vulnerable.
End of Press Release
Contact Details: The Family Addiction Support Network
Tel: 042 9355251