Cindy O’Shea, Regional Director for Samaritans Ireland

Samaritans in Ireland to reach more people in need of emotional support through new email

Young people urged to contact jo@samaritans.ie as charity reveals 626,000 calls answered in 2017.

Samaritans Ireland has today (March 7th 2018) launched a new dedicated email address to reach even more people in need of emotional support across Ireland.

Young people in particular are expected to reach out to volunteers through jo@samaritans.ie, which is the latest initiative from the charity to support all those suffering alone.

The new email was launched as Samaritans Ireland revealed volunteers answered more than 625,000 calls for help in 2017 in the Republic of Ireland, as well as sending almost 25,000 text replies.

Volunteers also give support by written correspondence and face to face in branches, communities and festivals nationwide. In Northern Ireland almost 180,000 calls and 45,000 texts were answered in 2017.

Samaritans has 20 branches across Ireland (12 in the Republic of Ireland and 8 in Northern Ireland) with a total of 2,500 active volunteers. They primarily offer emotional support on the freephone 116 123 helpline and have answered 2.3 million calls since the freephone number was launched in April 2014.

Now, through a new dedicated Ireland only email jo@samaritans.ie, another generation of people will be able to seek and receive emotional support when most in need.

Jim Daly, Minister of State at the Department of Health with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People, said: “It is a privilege to launch the new Samaritans Ireland email jo@samaritans.ie which will open up communications with more people in need of emotional support, especially those who may feel more comfortable going online and emailing for support as opposed to picking up a telephone.

“The new Samaritans email address will enhance all the statutory and voluntary supports already available for people in Ireland, and promote my Department’s plan to improve e-mental health services available in Ireland, particularly for younger generations who may need support or someone to talk to.”

Cindy O’Shea, Irish Regional Director with Samaritans, said the volunteers will be available on the new email 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just like the charity’s freephone helpline and text message service.

“Samaritans volunteers in Ireland have answered 2.3 million calls since the launch of the freephone 116 123 launch in April 2014. We also reply to those who text us, write to us, and are happy for people to visit us in our branches across the country. Now, we will be able to reach even more people in need through our new email at jo@samaritans.ie,” said Ms O’Shea.

“Our vision is to reduce suicide and feelings of suicide by alleviating emotional distress and by being there for anyone who needs support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are looking forward to being able to offer our support service to those who prefer to email us.

“We also want to get the message out that you do not have to be suicidal to ring, text or email the Samaritans. Whatever you’re going through, call us any time from any phone on 116 123 (this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill), text 087 260 9090 (standard texts rates apply), email jo@samaritans.ie, or visit www.samaritans.ie to find details of your nearest branch.”