Sugru provides a wide range of evidence-based, tailored psychological services to enhance childhood and familial well-being, making quality, affordable supports available to individuals and families across Ireland.
Year on year, Ireland continues to rank among the highest in Europe for childhood self-harm and suicide. In 2014, the ISPCC received around 1,000 calls from children mentioning suicide ideation, with 300 being seriously acute cases. Additionally, the Irish nation has suffered significant economic difficulties over the past eight years, resulting in reduced funding for and access to HSE services such as Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, where waiting lists for services are now up to two years long. This, alongside the significant increases in the stresses and pressures on family life, can create an unhealthy situation for children and parents.
Determined to address this crisis, Arlene and Lorraine came together to establish Sugru, an organisation devoted to fostering child and familial well-being. Sugru provides family focused, innovative, evidence-based therapies, with each service delivered by trained and passionate professionals. Sugru is guided by the overarching principle that a happy start in life prevents the need for expensive interventions later. Sugru works on a one-to-one basis or in group settings with children, parents, and education and healthcare professionals. Working in a variety of settings, Sugru makes improvements not only to the child’s life, but also to their environments.
Since 2014, Sugru has expanded services from their base in Athlone to a second location in Athenry. In addition to this, they’ve self-published #100happydays4kids, an easy-to follow book to support family development through sharing their most precious moments on www.100happydays4kids.com. This concept is the first of its kind to combine psychologically-derived materials and online peer support, further helping to raise awareness of the impact of positive parenting and the importance of attachment and bonding. Through well-being summer camps, workshops, and weekly classes in-house and in schools, the potential reach of Sugru is expanding daily, with huge interest in their services since its launch last year. Arlene and Lorraine have great aspirations for Sugru and will continue their efforts until Irish culture has truly prioritised familial well-being.