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A staggering 140 heritage sites, public buildings and companies joined a national campaign to raise awareness of Samaritans in Ireland this Christmas.
Samaritans Ireland marks the Longest Night of the year on the Winter Solstice to remind those struggling to cope that its helpline is open during their darkest hours this Christmas.
Volunteers answered almost 35,000 calls to Samaritans 24-hour freephone number (116 123) last December, including 1,120 on Christmas Day alone.
Dozens of sites supported the campaign including the Department of Health, The Rock of Cashel, Bunratty Castle, Slane Castle, Kilkenny Castle, Cork City Hall, several universities, and county council offices across the county.
Images were shared across social media throughout the night, highlighting the need to call Samaritans if you're struggling this Christmas.
A video of some of the buildings can be seen here on Twitter.
Sarah Stack, Communications & Policy Manager for Samaritans Ireland, thanked everyone involved in making the night a success, especially Samaritans volunteers in branches across Ireland.
“We are delighted to see so many heritage sites, public buildings and companies all over the country take part in Samaritans Longest Night,” she said. “This campaign highlights how we’ll be there for callers throughout their darkest hours this Christmas and we want to thank our volunteers for giving up their time for others this festive season.”
Samaritans is the only all island 24-hour emotional support freephone helpline, with volunteers answering almost half a million calls a year.
Anyone can contact Samaritans FREE any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit. This number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or you can email [email protected] or visit www.samaritans.ie.
Samaritans called on everyone to support the Longest Night campaign by lighting up a public building or space in green, and sharing the images on social media tagging Samaritans Ireland on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, using the hashtags #SamaritansLongestNight and #LongestNight.