Samaritans to help people struggling this Christmas

As tinsel and fairy lights adorn the streets up and down the country, it can be easy to overlook how the festive season can be the hardest time of the year for some.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 1:42 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th December 2019, 1:42 pm

Last Christmas, Samaritans, the only charity that is there for anyone struggling to cope 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, responded to more than 300,000 calls for help.

On Christmas Eve 2018, while many were hanging up their stockings and getting ready for Santa’s arrival, almost 1,650 dedicated Samaritans volunteers were reporting for duty at Samaritans branches across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

The next day, more than 1,475 Samaritans volunteers headed to branches and responded to thousands of calls for help from people feeling overwhelmed on December 25.

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 issues, relationship problems and isolation and loneliness.

Making a donation for as little as £4.99 will help Samaritans answer a call for help from somebody struggling this Christmas.

Sophie, 26 from Sussex, knows how hard the festive build up can be. After going through a marital breakup in the months leading up to Christmas she was also struggling with severe depression.

She said, “Last year was a real struggle for me with my mental health, which led to the cracks in my marriage, usually I’m like a big kid at Christmas, but I couldn’t think of anything worse than playing the fake ‘happy’ charade. It made me feel even more depressed when all my family and friends were excited in the run up to the big day. The pressure of enjoying yourself and everything being perfect can make mental health issues a thousand times worse. The only people I could show my true feelings to, even the deep dark ones, was Samaritans. It was a relief to speak to someone that wasn’t expecting you to be jolly.”

Call Samaritans free on 116 123 at any time, any day. To donate to the charity visit VirginMoneyGiving and search for your local branch.