Let’s Talk About Suicide to Save Lives say Samaritans

Samaritans is calling for more openness on the subject of suicide to prevent people taking their own lives.

Eighteen people a day die by suicide in the UK and Ireland, but 1 in 6 people (17.3%) see it as a taboo subject, according to research for the charity.*

Samaritans’ Deputy Chief Executive, Fiona Malcolm, says people who are struggling can feel isolated and alone. They often want to talk about their suicidal feelings but don’t know how to, or fear they will be judged. She says contact with another human being can make all the difference.

“More than 6,000 people die by suicide every year in the UK alone. If you are less well off, and if you are male, you are much more likely to take your own life. When you bottle things up you can start to feel trapped in your situation. Talking things through can help you find a way forward. It’s not always about fixing a problem – sometimes it’s simply about sharing it. Samaritans’ volunteers will always listen and never judge.”

The survey, published to mark Samaritans’ month long awareness raising campaign, Talk To Us, also shows that only 1 in 4 of us (29%) is happy to approach someone who looks upset, despite the majority (64%) of us claiming to be good listeners.

TOWIE star and TV presenter, Charlie King, talked to Samaritans when he was struggling after coming out as gay last year. He’s a big supporter of the Talk To Us campaign.

“Knowing that I could talk to someone in confidence, day or night, made all the difference. Not having to worry what they would say or how they would react. I used to feel so much lighter after talking to a Samaritan.”

Professor Rory O’Connor from the University of Glasgow leads research into suicidal behaviour and has worked with Samaritans on understanding why some people are more at risk.

“We all need to give each other permission to talk when we’re feeling sad or overwhelmed, That’s why Samaritans’ message is so important. When someone knows that they are not alone, that they’re not the only one, and that people will listen, it can make all the difference. It’s something to hold onto in the most difficult of times.”

Throughout July, Samaritans is raising awareness of its services through its Talk To Us campaign. Anyone can talk to its volunteers about anything that’s troubling them, round the clock every single day of the year, by phone, email, text or face to face.

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

Help spread the word about #TalkToUs by following Samaritans on Twitter @samaritans or Facebook

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For more information about Samaritans’ Talk To Us campaign, and for interviews, 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
  • 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/branches to find details of your local branch.