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NO ONE NEEDS TO FEEL ALONE THIS CHRISTMAS, SAYS SAMARITANS

As the Samaritans of Bournemouth and District gear up for the festive season, Samaritans (nationally) is reminding 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.

This is why Samaritans volunteers in Samaritans of Bournemouth and District 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.

Rose, Director of Samaritans of Bournemouth and District says:

“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.”

Molly is a Samaritans volunteer in the Bournemouth branch will be one of the team working on Christmas Day answering calls for help from people finding Christmas and New Year an ordeal.

“It may 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 to not be having a good time, and you don’t have to put on a brave face for us. 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.”

Dr Andrew Mayers (psychologist at Bournemouth University and national mental health campaigner) is Patron for Samaritans of Bournemouth and District. He says:

“The Samaritans are available 24/7 every day of the year to talk to people who may be distressed, and do so confidentially and without judgement. And now the call to Samaritans is free (116 123)! In my work, I see a lot of people who experience mental health difficulties. It can be hard to talk to family and friends about mental health and distress, especially over Christmas when everyone else is having fun. Loneliness can be a major factor in worsening mental illness, so having the Samaritans to call can make all the difference.”

Last year Samaritans responded to more than 5.3 million calls for help from people struggling to cope, with nearly 200,000* contacts to the charity over the festive season alone.

Samaritans relies almost entirely on donations to run its 201 branches and train its 21,200 volunteers, who also provide emotional support in schools, workplaces, prisons and throughout their local communities.

If you would like to support Samaritans by making a donation, you can find out how you can help at: http://www.samaritans.org/christmas

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