Download document: Wales impact report 2021/22 (English)
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Welcome to the Samaritans Cymru Impact Report for 2021/22
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Samaritans’ volunteers in Wales answered a call for help every 4 minutes in 2021-22 new figures show. The figures have been included in the charities latest impact report for 2021-22 which will be launched today at the Pierhead building in Cardiff Bay with the support of Lynne Neagle MS, the Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing and Jayne Bryant MS, Chair of the Suicide Prevention Cross-Party Group.
Lynne Neagle, the Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, said:
“Suicide prevention is everybody’s business. The large volume of calls responded to by Samaritans shows how invaluable their support is to people who need it.
“Suicide prevention is a priority for me and the publication of this report provides an opportunity to reflect on the critical work of Samaritans Cymru and its volunteers, who work so hard to prevent suicide and support people who are struggling to cope. This year, I have targeted an additional £1 million for suicide prevention, to support a number of areas to strengthen our approach in Wales.
“I would like to thank all the volunteers and staff at Samaritans Cymru for the lifesaving work they continue to do.”
Today’s event will focus on the link between poverty and mental health, with a keynote speech from Ellie Harwood, Wales Development Manager for Child Poverty Action Group and Co-chair of the Wales Anti-Poverty Coalition.
Growing up or living in poverty can have devastating consequences for individuals and communities, affecting education, health, social mobility, child development and life expectancy.
Samaritans Cymru have continued to highlight evidence of a strong connection between socioeconomic disadvantage and suicidal behaviour. Suicide rates are two to three times higher in the most deprived neighbourhoods compared to the most affluent. (Socioeconomic Disadvantage and Suicidal Behaviour / Samaritans Cymru 2018).
Emma Gooding, Policy and Communications Manager for Samaritans Cymru said:
“Suicide is a major public health issue. It is also a major inequality issue. Whilst the causes of suicide are complex, suicide disproportionately affects those from vulnerable or disadvantaged backgrounds, and there are clear links with poor mental health, poverty, loneliness and social isolation and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Following an unprecedented period of disruption and uncertainty, we know that many people have experienced trauma and poor mental health. The pandemic and cost-of-living crisis has widened inequalities for many people in Wales. Those who were vulnerable at the beginning now face more distress than ever before.
"People across Wales are struggling with their mental health because they are struggling to make ends meet. This is not about a lack of resilience or positivity; this is because they are being faced with very difficult circumstances. Addressing this requires a cross-governmental and cross-sectoral commitment; suicide does not belong to any specific department or sector – it’s everybody’s business.”
The event is also a major opportunity to celebrate the dedication of the 837 Samaritans volunteers across ten locations in Wales who give up their time to support anyone who is struggling to cope. Key highlights from 2021-22 showed the true impact of Samaritans volunteers across Wales:
Neil Ingham, the newly appointed Executive Director for Wales, said:
"During these ongoing difficult and uncertain times, we are needed more than ever and I am determined to support my team and our volunteers to continue to be there for anyone who needs us right across Wales.
“In Wales, we are proud of our incredible volunteers, who humbly support people in distress day and night. They are the backbone of our organisation. In 2022, they answered a call for help every four minutes. Even through pandemic restrictions, they selflessly continued to be there for their communities and for anyone struggling to cope. Each of the teams at our ten locations in Wales demonstrated a brilliant and unique connection with their local area.
“Their dedication is crucial in Samaritans achieving its vision – that fewer people die by suicide.”
Jayne Bryant MS who is sponsoring the event and chair of the Cross-Party Group on Suicide Prevention said:
“Samaritans Cymru are an institution that we are so lucky to have. Their volunteers have been carrying out invaluable work selflessly for decades and it is only right that their contribution is celebrated.
“I am proud to sponsor their impact report launch that unfortunately comes at a timely time with the cost-of-living crisis deepening and more and more people are being driven into poverty. Having someone there to pick up a phone and listen can make all the difference.
"Governments must do all they can to support those during this difficult time and I will always argue that cause, but I am grateful that Samaritans remain the establishment they are today. They are needed more than ever and their vision – that fewer people die by suicide – is a cause that we should all give our full support to.”
For more information, please contact Emma Gooding, Policy and Communications Manager at Samaritans Cymru on [email protected]
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