More than 11,000 volunteers across the UK and Ireland will be working shifts for the charity to ensure its helpline is open round the clock, even on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.
Mental health, family issues, isolation and loneliness are expected to be the top concerns. Relationship problems, physical health, violence, abuse and bereavement are likely to feature too, as well as drug and alcohol misuse.
At the same time, Samaritans is encouraging us all to give the gift of listening by telling friends and family it’s ok to open up if something is troubling them. To make it easy, the charity it has produced a set of vouchers that you can download from its website to give as presents, offering yourself as a listening ear. You can invite someone to confide in you over a coffee, while out on a walk, or in a whatever way you feel they will be most comfortable with. Socks won’t save a life, but listening can.
Samaritans volunteer and branch director, John, said: “If you’re dealing with difficult thoughts and feelings, the festive season can make everything seem worse. Whether you’re on your own or feeling alone in a crowd, we don’t want anyone to struggle. So, remember you can call Samaritans for free from any phone on 116 123.
If you’re expecting to have a good Christmas this year, have a think about those around you who may not be as lucky and give them the gift of listening.”
You can download Samaritans’ Give The Gift of Listening vouchers for free here at www.samaritans.