Samaritans: Derry branch to provide a listening ear at Christmas

The Samaritans, Lindsay and Jim, pictured outside the Samaritans offices, at Clarendon Street. DER3014MC140

The Samaritans, Lindsay and Jim, pictured outside the Samaritans offices, at Clarendon Street. DER3014MC140

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Derry Samaritans will have volunteers available round the clock over the festive period, providing a safe space for anyone who needs to talk.

Last year, Samaritans received around 244,000 calls during the Christmas period from people in the UK and ROI, and relies on kind donations from the public to keep its helpline open every single day of the year.

More than 45% of men who responded to an online survey by Samaritans said they felt more worried at Christmas than other times of the year.

While many people will be spending the holidays with friends and family, more than a third (37%) of male respondents admitted to feeling lonely at Christmas. However, men are also much less likely than women to have a positive view of counselling or therapy, and when they do use these services, it is at the point of crisis.

The charity is encouraging men to seek help and consider calling Samaritans if things are getting to them over the festive period.

Rosemary O’Doherty, Director of Derry Samaritans said: “Many of our callers have told us that Christmas is a tough time for them, which is why our volunteers will be available round the clock, for anyone who is struggling to cope, including on Christmas day. We’re incredibly grateful to the inspirational people who keep our service running every single day of the year when many others are closed.”

“We answer lots of calls over the Christmas period, and many of those are from men who feel like their family would be better off without them. That’s why it’s so important that Samaritans volunteers like me are there for those men when they need to talk and anyone who needs us over this period.”

As a charity, Samaritans relies on the remarkable dedication of its volunteers, as well as kind donations from the public. Supporters can help Samaritans answer every phone call over Christmas by donating just £4 - www.samaritans.org/donate.