The Ennis and Clare branch of the Samaritans has launched an appeal for more volunteers in a bid to maintain its support services.
People are urged to visit the Samaritans office on the Kilrush Road this Thursday evening at 8pm or on Saturday morning at 11am, where they will be provided with details on how to become a Samaritan.
A spokesperson for the Clare branch said new volunteers are urgently needed to avoid the prospect of any reductions in the current service, which the branch hopes will not be necessary.
It provides a non-judgemental confidential listening service from Monday to Friday and Sunday from 8am to 3.30am with a 24-hour service on Saturday. People can drop-in to have a face-to-face listening session from 10am to 10pm and there are up to 50 of these visits to their office on the Kilrush Road on a monthly basis.
Following the introduction of the new freephone number, the branch recorded over 18,000 calls last year.
New Samaritans can expect to volunteer for up to 15 hours a month, which is carried out on a rota basis with a three-hour duty during the day and a four to five hour stint at night. While volunteers are expected to be flexible, rosters are frequently swapped when people need to attend family occasions or other events.
A comprehensive training programme will be provided for all new members spread over four Saturdays and two Wednesdays. Support is also available for Samaritans if they required it following a distressing contact from someone.