New Samaritans figures released for Wales

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In Wales, someone called Samaritans every three minutes last year, according to the Impact Report for 2013/2014, launched today on the steps of the Senedd by the Minister for Health and Social Services, Mark Drakeford AM.

The Report details the outreach work the nine Samaritans branches are doing across the country, in prisons, hospitals, on the railways and in schools. In Wales there were 691 volunteers in 2013 and the service was contacted 161,170 times by people struggling to cope.

Along with the Impact Report, Samaritans have released figures on the number of people volunteering with Samaritans across the UK and ROI. In 2013, this figure reached a ten year high of 21,200. During the same period, the charity answered 5.23 million calls for help*, the highest number for five years.

There was a 12 per cent increase in the number of emails answered UK-wide last year. This was accompanied by a 15 per cent increase in text messages. The 22 per cent of calls from people experiencing suicidal feelings remained the same as in 2012.

Launching the Impact Report, Mark Drakeford AM, said: “I am grateful to Samaritans for its continued work in support of suicide prevention.  It is a key partner and plays a vital role in delivering Talk to Me, the national action plan to reduce suicide and self-harm in Wales.

“We want people to feel able to support their friends, family members and colleagues who, for a variety of reasons, may be at risk of suicide.  Ultimately, we as individuals, colleagues or friends, all have a responsibility to listen to and support those close to us.”

Sarah Stone, Samaritans Executive Director for Wales said:

“I want to give a huge thank you to our volunteers. Samaritans wouldn’t exist without their generosity and hard work. It is important we keep working to raise awareness of the benefits of talking. Everyone has moments in their life where they struggle to cope, but talking can be incredibly powerful and our service allows our callers to find their own way forward.”

Wales Impact Report (pdf)

Notes to editors:

*This figure includes calls for help via the telephone, email, SMS, letters and face to face support both inside and outside of the branches, including in prisons.

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.

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