25% feel they have no-one to talk to

A quarter of Irish people still feel lonely and isolated and and believe they have no one to speak to about their problems, according to a survey by the Samaritans.

25% feel they have no-one to talk to

The survey coincides with the launch of the Samaritans’ awareness-raising #TalkToUs campaign and got the views of 313 people.

It found that:

  • 26.5 % of people felt they did not have anyone to share their troubles with;
  • 30.7% said they can feel overwhelmed by problems;
  • 40.9% of respondents did not want to burden others with their problems.

As for reasons given why people did not feel comfortable about opening up about their feelings, one in eight respondents said they would feel weak. A fifth of those questioned said they would feel embarrassed; almost 13% said they would feel judged; and almost 10% said they believed they would be seen as “weird”.

When it came to those who did feel they had someone to confide in, 36.1% said they spoke with their partner, while 29.4% spoke with a friend. Just over 17% of those questioned said they bottled up their problems, and 12.5% said they would avoid people and spend time alone.

As for the issues which caused most concern to respondents over the past year, more than 45% said it was relationships. A similar percentage said a big life event was the issue, while 41.5% listed income as a concern.

Family arguments were an issue for 38.7% of respondents, while physical health was also mentioned, as well as work, home life, mental health, and social life.

Samaritans’ chairwoman Jenni McCartney said everyone needed to recognise the importance of sharing problems and seeking help.

“There’s nothing weak or weird about talking about what’s getting to you,” she said.

Samaritans’ executive director for Ireland, Catherine Brogan, said the act of sharing was often a huge help to people struggling with a personal problem — a theme that will be emphasised this month as part of the #TalkToUs campaign.

More details are available at the website samaritans.ie, by calling 116 123, or emailing jo@samaritans.org.

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