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Invitations to Tender

Traveller Counselling Service


Exchange House Ireland National Travellers Service


Invitation to Tender


The Development of a culturally inclusive, out of hours, telephone Suicide Crisis Support Line for members of the Traveller community. This support could be for individuals who are experiencing suicidal ideation or close friend or family members who have concerns.



Travellers: Travellers in Ireland experience severe mental health problems, with many describing the current situation for Travellers as mental health crisis, with Traveller Suicide 7 times higher than rates reported in the settled community and accounting for 11% of all Traveller deaths.

Alongside this, Travellers also have to contend with high levels of discrimination and exclusion that are experienced at both inter-personal and institutional levels. Inequalities in accessing the mainstream health service being one such example. 

In 2017 a national survey found that 40% of Travellers were discriminated against within state provided services.  This plus the lack of culturally inclusive mental health services, makes it very difficult for Travellers to address mental health issues and particularly suicidal ideation.

The Traveller Counselling Service and Exchange House Ireland want to ensure that that the Traveller community In Ireland has access to a culturally inclusive crisis suicide support line that will understand and value Traveler culture and identity and understand the norms and tradition and way of life.

The Traveller Counselling Service: The Traveller Counselling Service is a national community-based counselling service, which provides counselling to Travellers in-person, by phone and online.  The service correspondingly provides training and advocacy service and works from a culturally inclusive framework that respects Traveller culture, identity, values and norms and works from a perspective of culturally centred counselling and psychotherapy.

Exchange House Ireland National Traveller Service: Exchange House Ireland provides Traveller specific professional front-line services. These include Social Work, family support, counselling, psychotherapy, crisis intervention, education, training and services for children and young people in Ireland. 

Exchange House Ireland is comprised of Travellers and non-Travellers who endeavor to maintain a working environment that reflects the wider society we envisage.  Exchange House Ireland team of trained therapists and Social Workers are skilled in trauma work.  Travellers accessing the services are offered a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary and holistic approach to their issues and concerns.


Research Goal

The aim of the scoping exercise is to:

  • Establish the extent of the need for an out of hours phone suicide crisis support line for Travellers.
  • Capture the Traveller community’s view on the potential service
  • Explore how best to establish a suicide crisis support line for Travellers with an indication of set up and running costs as well as the logistics involved.
  • Identify any potential barriers that could prevent Travellers using the proposed service.
  • Provide an overview of current national crisis support lines and the service they are providing. Indicate any lessons that can be learned from how these crisis support lines function.
  • Establish to what extent Travellers are using current phone crisis support lines and what barriers may be stopping members of the community accessing these services.
  • Explore whether a new bespoke service or an extension of a current service would better fill current gaps.
  • Establish what policy and structures these services have in place and what we could learn from them.
  • Try and establish when a crisis suicide support line is most needed in terms of days and specific times as well as at what point of crisis to be people feel they would most need phone support.



It is envisaged that:

  • At least four to five focus groups would take place in different regions of the country with members of Traveller community. Access to members of the community and practical support could be offered from both the Traveller Counselling Service and Exchange House Ireland.
  • A number of individual interviews with key members of the Traveller community who would have specific information in regards to Traveller mental health and delivery of services.
  • A number of interviews with a number of key service providers and key stakeholders. These would include Traveller specific services, mental health services and crisis support lines.
  • Desktop research covering existing evidence on the topic.


Time Frame

The scoping exercise would be expected to begin in approximately mid-July and finish in early September. Some flexibility could be incorporated if discussed prior to the research beginning. It would be expected that the timeframe outlined by the researcher would incorporate regular updates to the 2 services.


Expected Outcome  

It would be anticipated that the researcher will write a report of the findings and recommendations and presents these findings to the steering group. The findings should include recommendations on next steps in regards to the implementation of an out of hours Traveller specific suicide crisis support line.



The total budget available to cover this project is €8,000, inclusive of VAT



It would be expected that the researcher will submit a detailed research proposal on how they intend to carry out the research including a timeline and a budget break down.


Closing date for applications is the 23rd June 2022

Contact for queries and submission of tender:








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