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Translink supports Samaritans We Listen Campaign

10 October 2017

To mark ‘World Mental Health Day’ this week Samaritans Northern Ireland are launching the charity’s ‘We Listen’ campaign, which lets people know that anyone can call Samaritans, whatever they’re going through.

Striking posters will be in railway stations across Northern Ireland and throughout Belfast city centre contain hidden messages where people claiming to be fine are not OK at all.  One says; “It does feel rubbish losing a job, but not desperate”, the real message being, ‘I’m not coping’.

Supported by Translink the campaign aims to show that while it’s easy to hide your feelings, when someone really listens you’re more likely to open up and start working through your problems.  Good listeners can unlock the potentially damaging secrets some people keep.  Samaritans are there for everyone and they don’t just hear you, they really listen.

Every 90 minutes someone in the UK or Ireland dies by suicide and while most of us like to think we’re good listeners, we keep quiet about our own problems.

Statistics released by Samaritans today show nearly three quarters (71%) of people in Northern Ireland believe they’re good listeners, but only a quarter (25%) feel they can talk when something’s on their mind.

Pamela James, Samaritans Belfast Director, said “Life’s pressures can build, without you even realising.  It’s all too easy to turn away, ignore how you’re feeling, and put on a brave face.  But you don’t have to do that with us.  Samaritans volunteers make time for you and really listen to you, because simply being listened to can help you put into words what’s really going on in your life and help you find a way through.

“It might be the pressures of family, relationships, work, health, finances – or anything else. Talk to Samaritans for free from any phone, email us, text us or come into one of our eight branches and chat face to face. Whatever works best for you, we’ll listen and help you find a way through.”

Translink has been working with Samaritans to raise awareness of the charity’s emotional support services since 2013.   

Translink’s Hilton Parr says:  “Thousands of people in Northern Ireland travel by train and visit our stations every day. This provides a strong platform to deliver Samaritans’ ‘We Listen’ poster campaign messages so that people know you don’t have to go it alone with your troubles when life is tough. ”

Volunteers will be inviting travellers to find out more about the work they do and the services they offer, and encouraging commuters to spread the word about the new campaign.

You can call Samaritans for free any time from any phone on 116 123 (you don’t even need credit and this number won’t show up on your phone bill), email [email protected], or visit samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch.

 
                                                                                -ENDS- 

For more information, images and interviews, please contact Anita Cooley [email protected] or call 07540929885 or download a press pack at www.samaritans.org/press.

Get on board with the #WeListen campaign by following Samaritans on Twitter @samaritans or Facebook www.facebook.com/samaritanscharity. 


Notes to editors:
Samaritans responds to more than 5.3 million calls for help every year, offering emotional support by phone, email, text and face to face in its 201 branches across the UK and Republic of Ireland.  For more information please see samaritans.org• Samaritans’ ‘We Listen’ campaign, supported by Network Rail and the wider rail industry, is appearing on poster sites and digital screens around the railway environment from February 2016 and is expected to be in place for at least two years.  The aim of the campaign is to prompt behavioural change and encourage those most at risk to seek help whenever they are struggling to cope and to increase the likelihood of them calling the Samaritans’ free helpline number, 116 123.  It is also designed to raise awareness and increase understanding of Samaritans with the general public so that people see the act of calling the helpline as a positive, empowering first step in seeking help and taking control of their lives.  For more information about the campaign please go to: www.samaritans.org/welisten • In 2014, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) 6,122 suicides were registered in the UK, which equates to 10.8 per 100,000 people.  Men are more at risk: the rate for men is 16.8 per 100,000 and 5.2 per 100,000 for women.  Deprivation is also a major risk factor, with people living in poorer areas of the UK ten times more likely to die by suicide than those in more affluent areas. Approximately 5% of suicides annually in the UK occur in the railway environment.• Samaritans works with the media to encourage the responsible reporting of suicide and attempted suicide.  Please see our media guidelines here: samaritans.org/media-centre/media-guidelines-reporting-suicide

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