1 in 3 Avoid Sharing Problems for Fear of Being a Burden

More than a third (41%) of people in Northern Ireland say they don’t like to burden others with their problems, according to research for the charity Samaritans.

The survey, published to promote its Talk To Us campaign, also reveals that nearly 1 in 5 (19%) people sometimes feel overwhelmed by their troubles, and 1 in 6 (16%) also feel they don’t have anyone to share them with.*

Other barriers to opening up about what’s bothering us include:

  • Feeling embarrassed (1 in 7 or 13%) 
  • Feeling weak (1 in 7 or 13%) 
  • Feeling judged (1 in 7 or 13%)

For those of us who do feel able to share, the person we are most likely to go to is a partner (nearly1 in 5 of us, 19%), then a friend (1 in 7 of us, 13%).  Just under 1 in 5 of us (19%) will sadly just bottle it up, and 1 in 7 of us (13%) will avoid people and spend time alone.

Over and above big life events such as a bereavement, redundancy or divorce, the survey also asked people to list the day to day things that have been bothering them the most in the last 12 months. The top five and the percentage of people who listed them are: 

  • Relationships (47%)
  • Physical health (47%)
  • Work (44%))
  • Home Life (41%)
  • Family arguments (34%)

Samaritans Ireland Chief Executive, Catherine Brogan, says talking can really help people to see a way through their problems.

“There’s nothing weak about talking about what’s getting to you. Recognising your need to talk is a strength. Everyone’s different and what one person might cope with can easily overwhelm another. Our volunteers can support you, whatever you’re going through - work stress, money troubles, family difficulties, sexuality issues, or a big life event. Samaritans’ volunteers won’t judge you and we’re here round the clock every day of the year to listen in confidence about whatever you need to share.  You don’t have to be suicidal to call Samaritans, we provide support to anyone who may be struggling to cope.”

Throughout the month of July, Samaritans volunteers up and down the country will be staging events to raise awareness of the services they provide in their local communities.

To find out about Talk To Us events in your local area, please go to www.samaritans.org

Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year. It provides a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they are feeling and whatever life has done to them. You can contact Samaritans at any time from any phone for FREE on 116 123, even from a mobile without any credit, and the number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or you can email jo@samaritans.org or go to www.samaritans.org to find details of your local branch.

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For more information about Samaritans’ #TalkToUs campaign, please contact the Press Team at Samaritans on 020 8394 8300, or email press@samaritans.org.

Notes to editors:

  • *Samaritans’ #TalkToUs 2015 online survey was carried out between 27 May & 2 June 2015. A nationally representative sample of 1600 adults was surveyed.  A summary is available at www.samaritans.org
  • In 2014, more than 21,000 Samaritans volunteers responded to more than 5.3million calls for help in the UK and Republic of Ireland, by phone, email, text and face to face in its branches.