As Samaritans gears up to meet the challenges that will arise from those suffering emotional distress over the festive season, we know that not everyone is expecting to have a happy Christmas.
If you’re struggling to cope, the pressure to have a good time can magnify your challenges and increase your sense of isolation, even if you have friends and family around you.
Which is why Samaritans volunteers in Belfast will be there round the clock for anyone who feels they need to talk, in confidence, about whatever’s getting to them -on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, and every other day of the year.
In Belfast, volunteers, friends and supporters of Belfast branch of Samaritans will take to the streets on Saturday 5th December to raise much needed money that will help to keep the branch available 24/7 to callers throughout Christmas and New Year.
No-one Needs to Feel Alone This Christmas. Like every one of its 201 branches, Samaritans in Belfast relies almost entirely on donations to run its services and continuously train and develop the skills of over 200 volunteers, who also provide emotional support in prisons, schools, workplaces and throughout the local community. If you spot one of us in our green tabards (we reckon on a clear day you could see them from space) please stop by to say hello and to find out a little more about what we’re about.
Someone, somewhere contacts Samaritans every six seconds. Problems don’t go away just because everything else has stopped for Christmas, and neither do we.
It might be your first Christmas without your children because of a separation. Or you may be bereaved, or struggling with redundancy, debt, your health, relationships or family issues. It’s OK not to be having a good time, and you don’t have to put on a brave face for us. If you’re dreading 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 between us, we won’t judge and we’ll help you find a way through.
You can talk to us, by phone, email or face to face in our branch. However difficult your thoughts and feelings are, knowing that we care and that we will listen can make all the difference.
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, whoever you are and whatever life has done to you. Please call 116 123 (this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill), or 02890 66 44 00 (local call charges apply), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.samaritans.org/branches/belfast
Alan Heron, Belfast Samaritans Publicity Officer