The Polonia Project was an eleven-month pilot project funded by the Camelot Foundation until 31 December 2008.
The Project was addressed to the members of the Polish community – currently the largest ethnic minority group in the Province, estimated to be around 30 000 people. The main aim of the project was to recognise and assess the need for psychological support and provide support to members of the Polish community, focusing on the issue of self-harm and suicide.
There are many organisations that deliver support and information to the Polish community, promote Polish culture, organize cultural events, information meetings, and provide English classes. Providing psychological and emotional support is as important as any of these other forms of assistance. This is why Zest – a voluntary organisation with charitable status that provides individual counselling and support to individuals who self-harm or are suicidal and suffering emotional hurt and pain has offered psychological support and information in the native language to members of the Polish community.
This report provides information on delivery of services to the Polish community and research assessing the need for psychological support among the Polish community residing in Northern Ireland, with focus on issue of self-harm and suicide.