Samaritans arrive in the South Wales Valleys

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-Strictly Embargoed, 00:01 Monday 19th October 2015

Samaritans has today (19th)  launched its South Wales Valleys Pilot Project which aims to provide support to individuals, in their communities, across the South Wales Valleys.  The project seeks to reduce emotional distress and lower the risk of suicide in the Valleys by increasing access to the Samaritans emotional support service and encouraging help-seeking behavior. 

There are between 300 and 350 suicides in Wales every year and the demand for the Samaritans service is growing - last year they took a call every 3 minutes.  In Wales, the suicide rate for men is at its highest since 1981; male suicide rates rose by 23% between 2012 and 2013.

Research shows that there is an association between the incidence of suicide and more deprived communities, and this gap appears to be widening in Wales. 

Sarah Stone, Executive Director for Wales said:

‘Suicide prevention involves mitigating and addressing inequalities.   It involves actively improving access to sources of support, removing barriers and working with and enhancing the energy of local communities. Samaritans currently has no branch located in the South Wales Valley area and it has been a long-standing ambition to establish a presence there. We are delighted with the support we have so far received from key organisations in the area.’

The Samaritans project will be launched today at the Redhouse in Merthyr with Professor Heather Stevens CBE; chair of The Waterloo Foundation and will be attended by Mark Drakeford AM, Minister for Health and Social Services, and Huw Lewis AM for Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney.

Samaritans needs your support

In order to ensure successful outreach and help as many people as possible in the South Wales Valleys, Samaritans need to recruit new volunteers. 

Are you interested?

  • Be a listening volunteer and give support to people who need to talk.
  • Be a support volunteer and help us to raise awareness of our work in Wales,
  • Help to train organisations to approach someone they are concerned about,
  • Help us with the day to day running of our project by providing admin support, fundraising or by being part of our management team.

For more information, please email wales@samaritans.org or call the Wales office on 029 2022 2008

Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year, to listen and offer confidential support when things are getting to you. Please call 116 123 (this number is FREE and will not show up on your phone bill), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of the nearest branch.

– ENDS –

Notes to Editors:

 

  • In Wales, Samaritans work locally and nationally to raise awareness of their service and reach out into local communities to support people who are struggling to cope.  They are active in schools, hospitals, prisons and on rail stations. They seek to use their expertise and experience to improve policy and practice and are active contributors to the development and implementation of Wales Suicide and Self Harm Prevention Action Plan ‘Talk to Me’.

 

  • Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year, to listen and offer confidential support when things are getting to you. Please call 116 123 (this number is FREE and will not show up on your phone bill), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of the nearest branch.