03 January 2006

Charity in Ulster suicide warning

Belfast Telegraph

By Claire McNeilly
03 January 2006

January is the busiest time of the year for hotline depression support groups such as the Samaritans.

Figures show there are often more suicides after the New Year than at any other time, while incidents of self-harm - where people take overdoses or harm themselves - also become more evident after the festive season.

Last night, director of the Belfast Samaritans, Rosemary Adair, urged people to talk to those they trust if they are feeling low.

"Some people possibly have difficulty when the festivities are all over, so January can be a very busy month for us," she said.

"The post-Christmas period is the worst, as many people put off their problems over the festive season, only to face them in the New Year."

She said the previous month of increased drinking and partying does not help the situation.

"Alcohol can play a significant part because it brings people's emotions or feelings to he surface."

Statistics from the UK and Northern Ireland showed that 13,650 people called the hotline over Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

However, the actual number of calls is probably four times that, as most people ring local Samaritans offices instead of the main number.

Rosemary added: "Our helpline operates 24 hours a day and we are there to listen to people having problems ranging from broken relationships, loneliness or feelings of despair. People can cope by talking to someone they trust."

Many support groups take an increased amount of calls on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, compared with other periods.

UK figures show that at the start of the new millennium - January 1, 2000 - 23 people killed themselves in the UK, compared with an average of ten a day.

Comments: Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?