Friday 17 November 2017

Numbers of callers to suicide helpline increases by over 20pc at Christmas

Calls to a suicide helpline rose by over 20pc over the Christmas period, it has been revealed. File picture
Calls to a suicide helpline rose by over 20pc over the Christmas period, it has been revealed. File picture
Independent Newsdesk

Independent Newsdesk

Calls to a suicide helpline rose by over 20pc over the Christmas period, it has been revealed.

An average of 185 calls per day were received by Console over the holiday period with 4,116 people ringing the helpline in December 2015.

“There was a notable increase in calls from New Year's Day onwards from people in real despair and experiencing feelings of hopelessness, with many in suicidal crisis or in the process of taking their lives," said Console founder and CEO Paul Kelly.

“We also received an increasing number of calls from third parties concerned about a loved one who was actively suicidal, self harming or in emotional or psychological distress.

"The increase in calls illustrates a huge demand for the Console freephone 1800 247 247 suicide prevention helpline with over 3,400 calls now received per month, quite apart from the 21% spike that we experienced at Christmas which brought our December numbers to 4,116.

“We also experienced a large rise in young men texting HELP to 51444 who may be in suicidal crisis, have attempted suicide or are engaging in deliberate acts of self harm.

“Some texters may be about to take their own lives or at the stage of having it planned down to the fine details with a firm intent on following through with it.”

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