Samaritans is today launching a new email address in a bid to reach more people who need support.
Volunteers answered more than 625,000 calls last year and sent almost 25,000 text replies.
It is hoped that through a new, dedicated, Ireland-only email email@example.com, will encourage young people in particular to seek and receive emotional support when most in need.
Samaritans has 20 branches across Ireland (12 in the Republic of Ireland and eight in Northern Ireland) with a total of 2,500 active volunteers. They primarily offer emotional support on the freephone 116 123 helpline and have answered 2.3 million calls since the freephone number was launched in April 2014.
Cindy O’Shea, Irish regional director with Samaritans, said that volunteers will be available on the new email 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just like the charity’s freephone helpline and text message service.
“Samaritans volunteers in Ireland have answered 2.3 million calls since the launch of the freephone 116 123 launch in April 2014," she said.
"We also reply to those who text us, write to us, and are happy for people to visit us in our branches across the country. Now, we will be able to reach even more people in need through our new email at firstname.lastname@example.org,
“Our vision is to reduce suicide and feelings of suicide by alleviating emotional distress and by being there for anyone who needs support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are looking forward to being able to offer our support service to those who prefer to email us.
“We also want to get the message out that you do not have to be suicidal to ring, text or email the Samaritans.
"Whatever you’re going through, call us any time from any phone on 116 123 (this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill), text 087 260 9090 (standard texts rates apply), email email@example.com, or visit www.samaritans.ie to find details of your nearest branch.”
- Digital desk