Tonia created a client centred low-cost multidisciplinary therapeutic centre in East Clare which offers long term support alongside medical services to those in need.
Tonia has been involved in setting up a number of community initiatives in the East Clare area including the ALFA Project (a pioneering school project for young teenagers) and CLAI House (a community living project for people with disabilities providing an alternative to institutional care).
A carer herself, Tonia sees a huge need for coordinated access for care givers and their families to services that can provide a lifeline for the body and mind under times of increased stress.
In 2010, following many years of preparatory work, Ciúnas opened its doors to provide affordable complementary therapies to a variety of carers and those they care for. This included a day for 18 carers for people who suffer from mental illness who were able to enjoy a break with massage and other therapies, group singing, and talks on nutrition. Families with autism are now availing of the services as well as carers of the elderly and disabled.
Ciúnas have the capacity to treat 100 clients weekly and so will be able to make a real difference in stress prevention in the community.
Ciunas currently employ a wide range of alternative therapists in areas such as aromatherapy, massage therapy, reflexology, art and music therapy acupuncture and counselling. They run an annual benefit concert in Clare to help support their services.
The life of crisis and struggle, alone and often unsupported continues for many families in Ireland today… I would like to create a centre which offers long term support alongside the medical services available to those in need.