1 in 4 People in Ireland Say They Have Nobody to Talk to About Their Problems

Embargoed until 0:00 Wednesday 1 July 2015

New research on behalf of Samaritans, shows that 1 in 4 (26.5 %) of people in the Republic of Ireland feels they don’t have anyone to share their troubles with.

The survey, to coincide with the launch of Samaritans’ awareness raising #TalkToUs campaign, also reveals that 1 in 3 of us (30.7%) can feel overwhelmed by our problems, but 2 in 5 (40.9%) of us don’t want to burden others with our problems.*

Barriers to opening up about our feelings include:

  • Feeling weak (1 in 8 / 12.1%)
  • Feeling embarrassed (1 in 5 / 20.1%)
  • Feeling judged (1 in 8 / 12.8%)
  • Or being seen as ‘weird’ (1 in 10 / 9.9%)

For those of us who do share, the person we are most likely to go to is a partner (36.1%) then a friend (29.4%)  1 in 6 (17.3%) of us will just bottle it up and 1 in 8 (12.5%) will avoid people and spend time alone.

The survey also asked people to list the day to day things that have getting to them the most in the last 12 months. The top five in order are:

  • Relationships (45.7%)
  • A big life event (45%)
  • Income (41.5%)
  • Family arguments (38.7%)
  • Physical health (35.8%)

Work (35.1%), home life (32.9%), mental health (29.7%) and social life (25.2%) also ranked highly.

Samaritans’ Chair, experienced volunteer Jenni McCartney, says talking can really help people to see a way through their problems.

“There’s nothing weak or weird 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 are here round the clock every day of the year to listen in confidence about whatever you need to share.”

Samaritans’ executive director for Ireland, Catherine Brogan, hopes its #TalkToUs campaign will reach people who may not realise its services are there for everyone.

“If you are struggling to cope, the benefits of sharing your concerns can be absolutely huge.  People who have contacted Samaritans tell us that feeling listened to, understood and cared for has helped them feel better and less alone.  Even if their problem couldn’t be resolved by the end of their exchange with us, simply the process of sharing was sometimes enough to start the process of healing, leading to taking positive action or seeking other forms of help.”   

Throughout the month of July, Samaritans volunteers across Ireland will be staging events to raise awareness of the services they provide in their local communities. To find out about #TalkToUs events in your local area, please go to www.samaritans.ie.

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. Please call 116 123 email jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.ie to find details of the nearest branch.

Help spread the word about #TalkToUs by following us on Twitter or liking us on Facebook.

For more information about Samaritans’ #TalkToUs campaign, please contact Rachel Wright on 085 860 5554/01 6710071, or email r.wright@samaritans.org

Notes to editors:

*Samaritans’ #TalkToUs 2015 online survey was carried out between 27 May & 2 June 2015. A sample of 313 adults was surveyed. A summary is available on www.samaritans.ie.

  • Samaritans’ #TalkToUs campaign will run throughout July with volunteers holding events and talking to local communities about the work they do in branches and out in the community. They’ll be encouraging anyone, whoever they are, whatever they are feeling and whatever life has done to them, to #TalkToUs if something is getting to them.
  • In 2014, more than 21,000 Samaritans volunteers responded to over 5.3 million calls for help in the UK and Republic of Ireland, by phone, email, text and face to face in its branches. In the Republic of Ireland, 1,664 volunteers responded to over 470,000 calls for help last year.