Press release: Samaritans’ comment on the Comprehensive Spending Review

Catherine Johnstone, chief executive of Samaritans, said:

“The outcomes of the Comprehensive Spending Review indicate tough times ahead. We understand that many people will be worried about their jobs and the loss of public services. We would like to remind the nation that Samaritans is here for anyone feeling down, unhappy, anxious or stressed, and that we are available 24 hours a day, even when other frontline services are closed.

“Those who are unemployed are 2-3 times more likely to die by suicide than people in employment. The fear of unemployment can also be bad for mental health and increase the risk of suicide. Therefore it is vital that people know that they can contact our helpline if they need to.

“We urge anyone needing to talk to contact us for confidential, non-judgmental support, by phone: 08457 90 90 90, email: jo@samaritans.org, or visit your local branch.

“Samaritans volunteers have helped distressed people through the many challenges our society has faced since we were founded 57 years ago, so the concept of a big society is not new to us. We are confident we will be able to help many more people in need if demand increases because of the budget cuts.

“As we are almost entirely funded by voluntary donations and less than two per cent of our income comes from statutory sources, Samaritans’ own finances will not be affected by the budget cuts.”

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For more information please contact press@samaritans.org or call 020 8394 8342. Out of hours press phone: 07943 809162