Samaritans offer mental health support during the coronavirus crisis

For those people worried about their mental health during the coronavirus outbreak, the Samaritans have launched a dedicated web page full of resources and advice which runs alongside their better known telephone counselling service.

Monday, 27th April 2020, 2:46 pm
Volunteer manning the phones at the Samaritans

The page is targeted to help people who are naturally feeling worried or unsettled by what's going on in the world.

In a statement the organisation said: “While we've taken the difficult decision to stop offering face to face support in our branches, and training sessions for new volunteers, and it may take us longer to answer the phone or answer emails, we're still here.”

Rural support coordinator for Yorkshire and Humberside, David Moyles, said it’s important to let people know that phone lines are manned as normal.

Samaritans are classed as key workers and they continue to ensure all shifts are filled, making certain cover is provided for those who need to self-isolate.

David said that broadly speaking the call volume is similar to normal levels, and that he himself has not seen a large increase in calls related to the coronavirus.

He said: “The calls, largely speaking, are the same, coronavirus is just another thing to add to the issues, some people mention it, some don’t.

“The important thing to get across is that we’re still here and we’re still manning our shifts

“What I really want to say is that if you don’t want to phone family and friends, if you don’t want to put on them, we are experiencing the same things and we can honestly say we get it!”

Like many other charities, the Samaritans are also finding issues with funding. David said that as they are unable to go to fundraising events such as the Great Yorkshire Show or do their other regular collections such as those on train station platforms. The money required to operate the service was a growing issue.

You can find the coronavirus support page or make a donation at www.samaritans.org and if you’d like to speak to someone, the helpline number is 116 123.

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