WHILE Christmas is a time of celebration, the festive season can be very difficult for some.
Many people will be focussed on things like parties and presents as December 25 approaches but for others, it will be an emotionally challenging time of year. It can be financially draining, particularly with incomes falling, while it can also be difficult for people who have been bereaved, for those who are battling loneliness and for people who have had family problems.
With this in mind, the Clare and Ennis branch of the Samaritans are reminding the public that the organisation will remain available 24/7 right throughout Christmas.
The Samaritans offers confidential support to people who are experiencing feelings of distress and despair, including feelings that may lead to suicide. They can be contacted by phone at 1850 60 90 90, by email at email@example.com or by calling to the Samaritans centre at the Kilrush Road in Ennis, between 11am and 10pm.
The Samaritans vision is for a society where fewer people die by suicide and it aims to promote emotional well-being. The charity has over 100 volunteers in Clare.
Gerry Dobbin, director of the Clare and Ennis branch of the Samaritans, said if people are having a difficult time, they should remember there is always someone to listen.
“We will be available to anyone who is in distress 24 hours a day. It’s a very difficult time for a lot of people and we’re well aware of the type of problems people have. We won’t give advice to callers, we will listen to them, and give them a chance to discuss their feelings.”
Gerry said it’s very important that people talk about things. “It can make such a difference to someone if they can talk about their feelings and what they’re going through. Often people find it hard to do that with family and friends, but the Samaritans are always there to listen.”
He said the people of Clare are very supportive of the charity. “This year we were kindly given a vintage car by Pat Foudy to raffle and it was eventually won by Mike Higgins of Malachy’s Bar in Quin. We brought it to different parts of the county and everywhere we went, large numbers of people bought tickets from us. At times the level of support was overwhelming.
“A lot of people were very helpful and allowed us to sell tickets at their premises or their event. The money that we raised will go a very long way to allowing us to offer our services for the coming year.”
The Clare and Ennis Samaritans also have an outreach group, which is available to give talks to schools or community groups. They can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.