News : Calls to Free Suicide Helpline Rose Over Lonely Christmas Period
Ireland, Jan 20, 2015 -- Calls to a national free suicide helpline rose by almost a third over the Christmas period, Irish charity Console has said.
The national suicide prevention and bereavement charity received an average of 165 calls per day over Christmas.
Some calls were high-risk calls from people "in a suicide crisis" while some followed a death by suicide, Console said.
"There was a notable increase in calls following deaths by suicide nationwide, combined with very high-risk, low-risk and moderate-risk calls from people in suicidal crisis," said Console founder and CEO Paul Kelly.
#"The increase in calls illustrates a huge demand for the Console freephone 1800 247 247 suicide prevention helpline with over 3,250 calls now received per month, quite apart from the spike that we experienced at Christmas which brought our December numbers to 3,924.
"The Christmas period tends to be a very difficult time for some people who can feel very lonely and isolated, and this, combined with their own personal circumstances can lead some people to be very vulnerable at this time.
Almost 4,000 people rang the helpline throughout December. And during the ten-day holiday period, calls rose by a third when compared with the same period last year.
"Although a joyful time for many, Christmas can tend to magnify life's pressures for people who may be vulnerable emotionally or psychologically.
"These pressures might be added financial worries, or perhaps it is the first Christmas since a significant event such as a death or a divorce.
"We took a lot of calls from people who felt the added pressure of disconnection from family and society, which can often lead to despair.
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Console can be reached at any time on freephone 1800 247 247, and useful information can be found on www.console.ie.
"Callers to the helpline may be about to take their own lives or at the stage of having it planned down to the fine details with a firm intent on following through with it.
"Console helpline staff are trained to make an intervention if needed and we have seen a marked increase in our outgoing contact with the frontline emergency services such as the Gardai, ambulance or hospitals on behalf of callers."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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