Samaritans are always on duty
Drogheda & North East Branch of Samaritans say they are there for people who need someone to talk to this new year.
The branch, which serves counties Louth, Meath, Monaghan and Cavan, will have volunteers available around the clock for anyone who feels they need to talk, in confidence, about whatever is getting to them.
Pat Mulholland, who recently replaced Marie McCormack as director of the local branch, said Christmas and the New Year period can be especially hard for many people.
'We know that loneliness and isolation are both factors in this,' said Mr Mulholland.
'If a person is dealing with difficult thoughts and feelings, the festive season can make everything seem worse.
'We don't want anyone to struggle whether they are on their own, or are feeling alone in a crowd.
'It's important to remember that you can call Samaritans for free from any phone. We're here to listen and you can always talk to us about what's on your mind.
'Our volunteers work hard to provide a space for people in crisis when there may be nowhere else to turn.'
Samaritans volunteers in the Drogheda & North East Branch will be among those on hand nationally for a staggering 12,500 hours over this festive season to listen to anyone who may be experiencing a tough time. Mental health, family issues, isolation and loneliness are expected to be the top concerns. Relationship problems, physical health, violence, abuse and bereavement are likely to feature too, as well as drug and alcohol misuse.
Meanwhile, Samaritans is also encouraging everyone to give the gift of listening by telling friends and family that it's okay to open up if something is causing them trouble.
Samaritans can be contacted 24/7, 365 days a year on Freecall 116 123, by texting 087-2609090 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org