Samaritans are just a phone call away if you need them

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Anyone who is struggling to cope this festive season is being reminded that help is only a phone call away.

Samaritans geared up for what is traditionally a busy time for its volunteers who offer emotional support to people needing someone to talk to.

Accepting that you are not coping is a huge step and may be difficult for you to accept. Taking the first step of talking to someone is never easy.

In Northern Ireland each year, Samaritans volunteers gave up their time between Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day to answer calls. Volunteers are available to listen and offer support and understanding 24 hours every day of the year.

Anyone can contact Samaritans free of charge, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 116 123, even on a mobile without creditAnyone can contact Samaritans free of charge, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 116 123, even on a mobile without credit
Anyone can contact Samaritans free of charge, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 116 123, even on a mobile without credit

Each volunteer answered an average of 12 calls per Christmas shift, with callers sharing a wide range of personal challenges from mental and physical health struggles to family and financial issues, relationship problems and isolation and loneliness.

Marie, the director of Ballymena Samaritans said: “We know life’s problems don’t melt-away when we switch the Christmas lights on or off and for many people the festive season and New Year can be a difficult time.

"That’s why it’s so important to make sure there’s always someone there to listen over the festive and New Year period and throughout the year.

"For me, volunteering is an important part of my Christmas and helps me to put my own celebrations in context.

“With rates of suicide rising here in Northern Ireland and across the UK, Samaritans has been a vital lifeline. The support offered by Samaritans is crucial during the cost of living crisis. You can contact us at anytime FREE on 116123 or via email [email protected] – you do not have to give your “real” name, you will not be judged and every contact is treated in confidence. You do not have to be suicidal to contact us, talking to us allows you to work your way through all of your options.

Anyone can contact Samaritans free of charge, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 116 123, even on a mobile without credit.

This number won’t show up on your phone bill.

Or you can email [email protected] or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch, where you can talk to one of our trained volunteers face to face.

Samaritans has 8 branches throughout Northern Ireland which can be contacted FREE in confidence, 24 hours a day by phone on 116123 or via email [email protected].