As Derry gets ready for the festive season, the Samaritans have reminded people that no-one needs to feel alone this Christmas.
If you’re struggling to cope with life, the pressure to have a good time can magnify your challenges and increase your sense of isolation, even with friends and family around you.
Lindsay, director of the local branch in Derry, said if you’re feeling anxious, you’re not alone. ‘Someone contacts Samaritans every six seconds. Problems don’t go away just because it’s Christmas, so if you’re finding it hard to look forward to the festive season, we’re here for you.
‘If it’s too difficult to open up to friends or family, or you feel you have no-one who will listen, talk to us. We’ll keep whatever you say safe, we won’t judge and we’ll help you find a way through’.
New figures released by Samaritans show the extent of loneliness and isolation people feel over the festive period, with a quarter believing everything feels worse at Christmas and one in six saying it’s the loneliest time of year.
Tom, a volunteer from Derry is one of Samaritans’ 21,000 volunteers and will be on duty over the festive period in Derry. He has answered hundreds of calls for help from people in Derry and the North West who find Christmas and New Year an ordeal.
Tom said ‘This is my sixth year volunteering with Samaritans. I’m happy to give up my time as I know that there are a lot of people who, more than ever, need someone to turn to.
‘Support services can often shut down at this time of year, or family and friends may be far away, leaving some people more isolated than usual. Knowing I can provide vital support to people who might be having a difficult time is the best gift I can think of giving’.
Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year, providing a safe place to talk for anyone who is struggling to cope. Please call 116 123, (this number is free to call and will not appear on your phone bill), or 71265511.
Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit 16 Clarendon Street between 10am – 10pm