Samaritans supporting ITV’s Loose Women to promote the power of listening

Samaritans is working with daytime TV hit show Loose Women on its Lighten the Load campaign. The campaign is focusing on people taking responsibility for their emotional health as much as they do their physical health.   

Launching this week, Loose Women presenter Andrea McLean opened up about having post-natal depression and the impact it has had on her life. And co-presenters Colleen Nolan and Janet Street-Porter have revealed how much having the courage to talk through problems and feelings has benefited them, and encouraged anyone feeling overwhelmed to contact Samaritans.

Janet Street-Porter said:  “People see me as tough but that’s not always the case underneath. We all need to talk. Someone who’s struggling to cope may hold back from talking to friends or family because they don’t want to burden them.  If that’s you, Samaritans want you to know they are there - you just have to pick up the phone. It’s free to call and there’s someone there who will listen to how you feel at any time of the day or night.”

As part of the Lighten the Load campaign, viewers are being encouraged to pledge to talk more about how they are feeling, or make time to listen to others who need to open up. Or they can promise to do both.

Loose Women Deputy Editor Siobhan O’Gorman said: “One in four of us will experience poor mental health in any given year, and we at Loose Women think that is something we should be talking about. Our Lighten the Load campaign is all about talking and listening. Talking if you are affected, or being there to listen to someone going through a period of stress.”

Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland said: “It’s brilliant that Loose Women is putting caring about your mental health at the heart of the nation’s conversation.  Samaritans is proud to be involved in the Lighten the Load campaign and hopes it will encourage people to ask for help if they need it.  Whatever you’re dealing with, from relationships to money, health or family troubles, Samaritans will listen and help you find a way through.”

Samaritans has worked with the programme team to produce checklists to download and help you reflect on your well-being, or that of a friend. The lists get you to think about how you or someone else is feeling and behaving, and encourage anyone who may be struggling to reach out for help. They also make handy backgrounds for your computer or mobile phone.

Find out more about the Lighten the Load campaign and download your mental health checklist at: #LWLightenTheLoad

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For further information, please contact Samaritans’ press office on 020 8394 8300 or


Notes to editors:

  • You can call Samaritans for free any time from any phone on 116 123 (you don’t even need credit and this number won’t show up on your phone bill), email, or visit to find details of your nearest branch.
  • Samaritans responds to more than 5.3 million calls for help every year, offering emotional support by phone, email, text and face to face in its 201 branches across the UK and Republic of Ireland.  For more information please see
  • It’s the public’s kind donations and more than 21,000 trained volunteers that mean Samaritans is always there for anyone struggling to cope.  Find out how you can support us: