Samaritans ready for January’s slide into depression
Boxing Day was unusually Samaritan’s busiest day for the festive season - with a particularly high total of 5,396 calls to the national UK number of 08457 90 90 90.
This showed a 29 per cent increase over the number of calls received to the national number on Boxing Day last year - 2005.
The Christmas and Boxing Day National UK Number call totals for this festive season, 2006, were 4758 and 5396 respectively.
As many calls again would have been made directly to Samaritans’ local branches. The large rise in calls to Samaritans on Boxing Day this year is mainly put down to people who were with friends or families on Christmas Day and returned to their own homes, to be alone on Boxing Day, and then felt unsupported and contacted Samaritans for help. As expected the nature of most calls to Samaritans were concerning isolation or loneliness throughout the Christmas period.
On the traditional busiest day - New Year’s Day – Samaritans’ national number calls for the UK came a close second to Boxing Day with 5,350 calls for support being received.
These, again, were calls made to the national number only - at least as many again would have been made to Samaritans’ 202 branches around the UK and Ireland on their own direct local ’phone numbers.
The calls made to Samaritans national number on December 31st 2006 - New Year’s Eve - totalled 4,376. This shows that as anticipated, there was a 22 per cent rise in calls on New Year’s Day. New Year’s Eve still holds, for many an air of optimism, and of course people are enjoying themselves with friends.
The cold darkness of the first day of January begins to bring a change to the nature of calls though.
People may well find themselves alone again after festivities and this often brings home the realisation that problems put away for while having fun are still there to be faced up to, that financial issues piled up over Christmas now have to be resolved and that anxieties and stress ‘put on hold’ over the holiday period are all still there. With the return to work, with many more dark days to face before sunlight returns stress and depression becomes more prevalent.
January and February are the months when Samaritans receives the most calls from those feeling depressed or down. The third Monday in January - known as Blue Monday - is considered to be the most depressing day of the year and Samaritans is now in the middle of its Stress Down Day campaign working towards its annual work-related Stress Down Day on February 1st 2007. Details can be found at www.stressdownday.org
Samaritans’ support is confidential and non-judgemental - whatever kind of emotional worry or concern you have. Samaritans can be telephoned on 08457 90 90 90 in the UK or 1850 60 90 90 in the Republic of Ireland or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Samaritans has 202 branches around the UK and Republic of Ireland where visitors can receive face to face support. Details of branches can be found on Samaritans web-site at www.samaritans.org
Note to editors
It is the aim of Samaritans to make emotional health a mainstream issue. Samaritans' vision is for a society where fewer people die by suicide because people are able to share feelings of emotional distress openly without fear of being judged. Samaritans believes that offering people the opportunity to be listened to in confidence, and accepted without prejudice, can alleviate despair and suicidal feelings.
Samaritans is a registered charity, founded in 1953, which offers 24-hour confidential emotional support to anyone in emotional distress. The service is offered by 17,000 trained volunteers and is entirely dependent on voluntary support. Across the UK, you can call Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 (1850 60 90 90 in the Republic of Ireland) for the price of a local call. You can also write to Samaritans at Chris, PO Box 9090, Stirling, FK8 2SA, send an e-mail to email@example.com or if you are deaf or hard of hearing use the single national minicom number 08457 90 91 92.