In this section:

Counselling and Maritime Life Skills Training Programme

In October 2015, NMCI engaged the services of counsellor Paul Mc Carthy on a Wednesday during the academic year in order to assist in addressing the mental heath needs of all NMCI students both ashore and afloat. Paul worked for 26 years in the Irish Naval Service, where he performed a similar role and so is uniquely qualified to understand the stressors of Maritime life. Academically he is qualified in three modalities of counselling, namely an MA in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which is the treatment of choice for issues like Depression and Anxieties, BA in General Counselling and Diplomas in Addiction Counselling and Stress Management. He also has vast experience in dealing with traumatic critical incidents at sea such as workplace accidents and fatalities. This counselling service in NMCI is broadly referred to as "Maritime Life Skills Training Programme" and hopes to assist both individuals and groups with common mental health issues as well as generic issues such as stress management and awareness around bullying etc. Such a programme endeavours to equip all maritime students with basic positive mental health skills.

Student Counsellor Paul McCarthy


For the Academic Year 2020 -2021 all face to face counselling will be delivered remotely on a Wednesday. Simply email Paul McCarthy on to make an appointment.


Maritime Life Skills Programme NMCI FAQs

  • Where do I go to see a Counsellor in NMCI?

For a face to face meeting on a Wednesday, the Maritime Life Skills Counsellor is based in Room 2.66 on the second floor. We will work with you to see if we can offer you appointments at a time to suit you where possible. 

  • How do I make an appointment?

Appointments can be made by emailing "Counselling".   We also offer one early and one lunchtime consultation in order to minimise class disruption. Also you can ring the Counselling reception desk in CIT at +00353 21 4335772.

  • How long does a Meeting Last?

Consultations last for 50 minutes, where you will have an opportunity to talk about what is going on for you. A Counsellor will not be able to provide instant solutions, or advise you what to do but will listen and facilitate an increasing awareness of yourself and your choice of possibilities. To come for counselling takes courage as it involves facing up to what ever issue is causing you a problem. Asking someone else for help should not be seen as a sign of weakness but on the contrary should be seen as a wise sign that you are taking steps, hopefully at an early stage, to address any problems you are experiencing.

  • What type of Issues Do Students Normally Seek Help For?

Life at Sea can throw up its own unique challenges. On top of that students normally seek help on a range of personal issue such as:

* Stress Including Exam Stress

* Procrastination

* Anxiety

* Excessive Worry

* Relationship Difficulties (family, romantic, classmates etc.)

* Depression or Mood Difficulties Including Isolation both ashore and afloat

* Grief or Bereavement

* Homesickness or Loneliness

* Lack of Motivation or Direction

* Assault or Abuse

* Bullying or Harassment Including Sexual Harassment

* Addiction or Substance Use

* Perfectionism

* Low Confidence or Self-Esteem

* Balancing Part-Time Work and Academic Requirements

  • Is the service confidential?

Yes everything you say will be treated as confidential, and that will includ no requirement to inform your Sponsoring Company (if you are a sponsored cadet) provided you are Not a danger to yourself, other people or the law has not be broken. Where you have been referred to the Service by College staff, your counsellor will let them know you have attended but the content of your sessions will never be disclosed. With your consent only we can talk to people on your behalf if you so wish.

Counsellors are bound by the professional ethics of their accrediting organisation to maintain confidentiality. Case notes are kept on all students who attend but are always secured in a locked Counselling filing cabinet.

  • Will the fact that I attended the counselling service appear on my academic record?

No definitely not.

  • How soon can I be seen for an Initial Meeting?

We aim to offer everyone an appointment as soon as possible. However during busy times the wait can be a little longer. Because of the high demand for spaces, we would appreciate if you email immediately, if you wish to cancel your appointment.

  • How many sessions am I entitled to?

While nothing will be written in stone, all students will be entitled to six individual sessions, and depending on the demands on the service this can be reviewed on a case by case basis

  • What Happens in a Typical First Counselling Session?

Besides some basic routine administrative details being taken, a first session is normally an opportunity for you and your counsellor to outline and figure out what the problems actually are, discuss any concerns you may have and collaboratively decide what is the best strategy going forward to address those issues. Also you are encouraged to ask any questions you may have about the counselling service.


Arrangements for NMCI Students In need of a GP appointment in Bridge Medical Practice Carrigaline

Contact Details are 021-4372663

Location – Carrigaline Primary Care Centre, Carrigaline

(please note  as a student you will need transport as this is located slightly out of the village.

Hours of Business are:

Monday to Friday  - 9 am to 5 pm

Monday to Thursday – open in the evenings up to 7.30 pm

Saturday morning – 10 am to 12 noon

As a student you  must ring and make an appointment in advance.  Students should indicate when they ring that they are an NMCI student and they must present their Student ID Card at the Medical Practice on arrival.  The charge for NMCI students is €10 if they have no medical card.


Helpful Links and Resources


Maritime Mental Health Resources

In 2019 NMCI has become the first Maritime College in the World to Join the International Seafarers' Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN). This organisation promotes seafarer’s welfare worldwide and directly serves seafarers by providing a 24-hour helpline. All CIT students particularly when at sea can now avail of this free resource.  Contact details are available on the following link

This website also has an excellent section on Physical Fitness at Sea with a lot of information on areas such as Workout Plans, an Online Fitness Calendar etc. 

Social Anxiety

Social Anxiety is when we get anxious in social situations as we believe we will be judged negatively by the people we interact with.  In another 2019 initiative CIT has signed up to an online Social Anxiety Treatment programme exclusively for CIT students.  Just click on the link below for further information.


Support and information for merchant seafarers who have experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault while at sea. Currently in the process of developing anonymous email and online chat support.  To access this support, click on the link below;

Support for All Third Level Students in Ireland

If you’re experiencing a personal crisis, are unable to cope and need support free-text HELLO to 50808.

Or alternatively click here for online support


Click here for access to HSE resources on Post-traumatic stress disorder.


CIT Counselling Service have introduced an Online Support.  To access this support click here.

Or alternatively copy this link into your browser -



The use of books for therapeutic purposes is known as 'bibliotherapy'. Self-help books are now being recommended as a means of providing psychological therapy for people experiencing emotional and psychological difficulties.

The effectiveness of bibliotherapy has been well established in clinical trials. Bibliotherapy has been recommended by the National Institute for

Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) UK as a useful start in treating mild and moderate depression, anxiety and panic and some other mental health problems.

Click here for access to HSE resources on Mental Health Services

Reach Out Ireland is a website which aims to provide quality assured mental health information to help young people in Ireland get through tough times.

They have a section specifically for college students, which you can reach here:

National Office for Suicide Prevention

Links to various agencies dealing with suicide including links to support agencies for those bereaved by suicide

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide

A website that contains a variety of supports and resources for those bereaved by suicide.

Pieta House

Pieta House is a non-profit organisation providing a specialised treatment programme for people who have suicidal ideation or who participate in self-harming behaviours.

Please Talk

If students experience problems at home, college, or in their private lives, they can log on to

Just select their college and identify what services that are available that they might want to access. Please Talk is supported by the HSE through the National Office of Suicide Prevention, and is part of the National Mental Health Strategy.

Also there is a good video about the value for students in talking to a counsellor about their issues.

One in Four

Supports men and women who have experienced sexual abuse and/or sexual violence

01-662 4070

Sexual Violence Centre Cork

5 Camden Place, Cork

Tel: 021-4505577 or Freephone 1800 496 496

(Formerly Cork Rape Crisis Service) Counselling service for survivors of rape, sexual abuse & child abuse.

Harbour Counselling Service (HSE)

Penrose Wharf, Cork

Tel: 021-4861360 or 1800 234 116

Support for adults who as children experienced abuse or neglect.


Provides a confidential helpline, information and a support service for male victims of domestic abuse

Tel: 046-9023718

Victim Support

4 Anglesea Villas, Anglesea St., Cork

Tel: 021-4322333 or 1850 661 771.

Emotional and practical support to those affected by crime.

Alliance Centre

16 Peters St., Cork.

Tel: 021-4275837 (Office) or 021 427 56 15 (Helpline) (Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm).

Information and support on all aspects of drugs and sexual health.


Local support group meetings for those affected by depression.

Helpline 1890 303 302 (Seven days 10am-10pm. Thurs to Sun, the helpline also operates after 10pm)

Cork AWARE run a weekly Young Adult Support & Self Care Group in Cork, Inniscarraig Centre, Western Road every Wednesday at 8 pm.


Provides confidential, non judgemental support for people affected by eating disorders.

Lo call helpline, e mail support, support groups, online support group.

No meetings in Cork at present. 

Overeaters Anonymous (Cork)

Tel: 086 3526467

Support for people with eating disorders


Mental health organisation which helps people who have suffered, or are suffering, from mental health problems.

Helpline: 1890 474474

Office: 11 Liberty St., Cork. Tel: 427 75 20

G.U.M. (Genito-Urinary Medicine / Sexually Transmitted Infections)

Outpatients Dept., South Infirmary/Victoria Hospital Complex, Old Blackrock Rd., Cork.

Tel: 021-4966844

Free and confidential service offering diagnosis & treatment of sexually transmitted infections, HIV testing and contact tracing. Health advice also offered. Ring for appointment.

Mental Health Ireland

Support for people with a mental illness, their families and carers. 

Spun Out is Ireland’s youth information website created by young people, for young people.

Spun Out aim to educate and inform their readers about the importance of holistic wellbeing and how good health can be maintained, both physically and mentally.


Coach Street, Cork.

Tel: 021-4271323 Call save 1850 60 90 90

MY Mind

My Mind Centre for Mental Wellbeing was founded in 2006 as a not-for-profit community based provider of accessible mental health care. Based in centres in Dublin, Cork and Limerick city, providing a wide range of clients with counselling and psychotherapy services. My Mind charges clients fees based upon their employment status, allowing the unemployed or full time students to access our services at reduced rates.


Turn2Me provides a 3 tiered online approach to supporting mental well-being - Self Help, Peer Support and Professional Support. Remain anonymous, express yourself and share your experiences without fear of recognition or judgement.

Students Against Depression

This website offers information and resources validated by health professionals alongside tips and advice from students who have experienced it all themselves.


Fact Sheets

Click here for fact sheet on "Depression"

Click here for fact sheet on "Stress Management"

Click here for a fact sheet on "Steps to Positive Mental Health for Seafarers"

Click here for "Fitness Guidelines Specifically for Merchant Navy"

Click here for "6 Tips to Beat Loneliness At Sea”