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Cash woes on the rise in calls to Samaritans

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The study by Mercer found that 82pc of staff are facing increased personal stress, and 59pc are worried about their ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle while holding down a job (Stock image)

The study by Mercer found that 82pc of staff are facing increased personal stress, and 59pc are worried about their ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle while holding down a job (Stock image)

The study by Mercer found that 82pc of staff are facing increased personal stress, and 59pc are worried about their ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle while holding down a job (Stock image)

The number of callers to the Samaritans' helpline who were concerned about financial issues has risen in the past year.

The Samaritans said that thousands of people contact the service every year - and hundreds of these are now mainly worried about money.

A new survey has been compiled from 2,000 contacts recorded by five Samaritans' branches around the UK and Ireland, including Dublin and Belfast, between 24-30 November 2014.

A total of 20.4pc of callers (or 408 people) mentioned their financial concerns when the speaking to a volunteer. This compares to just 17.2pc (or 344 people) in the same period last year.

More women than men contacted the Dublin branch and discussed financial issues, and more women contacted the branch overall.

Calls from both sexes rose from 360 in 2013 to 550 during the week surveyed in 2014.

These calls for help were made via telephone, email, SMS and face-to-face meetings in Samaritans branches across the UK and Ireland.

Overall the survey found loneliness was mentioned by just over a third of the people who contacted Samaritans in November 2014.

As well as feeling lonely, the number of callers who had employment concerns rose slightly in November 2014, 5.6pc - a slight increase on the 5pc in November 2013.

Concern

Catherine Brogan, executive director for Samaritans Ireland, said that financial problems are still a big concern for our callers.

"Although things are starting to improve in Ireland, a lot of people are still struggling and this can add to their feelings of loneliness and isolation," she said. "It is important that people know that Samaritans are here round the clock to provide them with a space to talk about what they are going through."

Joe Ferns, Samaritans' Director of Research and Policy said: "The volunteers are ordinary people who listen without judging so that anyone who calls can be themselves, whatever has happened to them.

hnews@herald.ie


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