Samaritans offers listening ear over Christmas

More than 45% of men who responded to a survey* by Samaritans said they felt more worried at Christmas than other times of the year.

The findings come with a reminder that volunteers from the charity’s 201 branches will be available round the clock over the festive period, for anyone who needs to talk.

The online survey found that of the male respondents:

  • Almost half (48%) feel sad or depressed at Christmas time
  • 45% of men feel that others expect them to be happy at Christmas when they are not
  • More than a third (37%) of men admitted to feeling lonely at Christmas
  • 30% of men felt stressed or anxious at Christmas time

With men in the UK three times more likely than women to take their own lives**, the charity is encouraging them to seek help and consider calling Samaritans if things are getting to them over the festive period. Men are also much less likely than women to have a positive view of counselling or therapy, and when they do use these services, it is at the point of crisis***.

Last year, Samaritans received around 244,000**** calls during the Christmas period from people in the UK and ROI, and relies on kind donations from the public to keep its helpline open every single day of the year.

Catherine Johnstone, Chief Executive, said: “Many of our male callers have told us that Christmas is a tough time for them, which is why our inspirational volunteers will be available round the clock, for anyone who is struggling to cope, including on Christmas day.”

As a charity, Samaritans relies on the remarkable dedication of its volunteers, as well as kind donations from the public. Supporters can help Samaritans answer every phone call over Christmas by donating just £4 - www.samaritans.org/donate.

– ENDS –

For more information about the work of Samaritans please contact the Samaritans’ Press Office on 020 8394 8300 or email press@samaritans.org

Notes to editors:

*140 men responded to the online survey in 2012 (not previously published).
**Source: Suicide in the UK, 2012 Office for National Statistics (2014)
***Samaritans report, Men and suicide: Why it’s a social issue (2012)
****Based on available contact figures between 18 December 2013 and 1 January 2014

  • Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year. We provide a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them. Please call 08457 90 90 90 (UK) 1850 60 90 90 (ROI), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of the nearest branch.