Samaritans answered more than half a million calls across the island of Ireland in 2019.
The Impact Report gives an insight into the service Samaritans Ireland volunteers provide, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
According to the report, someone contacts the Samaritans every 49 seconds in Ireland.
Further findings in the report include:
- Volunteers received 583,277 phone calls in 2019 – 431,871 in the Republic of Ireland, and 151,406 in Northern Ireland.
- On average volunteers spent 15 minutes on the phone with each caller.
- Nearly 4 out of every 10 calls is in relation to mental health/illness.
- There were also 2,416 face-to-face contacts, and 19,989 emails to Samaritans Ireland.
“With more than half a million calls for help last year, by phone, e-mail, and face-to-face, the work of Samaritans Ireland has never been more needed," said Niall Mulligan executive director of Samaritans Ireland.
"We deliver our service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, through a network of 2,300 amazing volunteers within 22 branches across the island of Ireland.”
A statement from the charity said that Covid-19 has been "a challenge for Samaritans Ireland" this year, but the "volunteers have ensured that a service was provided to those who needed it throughout the pandemic and lockdown."
Samaritans Regional Director for the Republic of Ireland Rory Fitzgerald said: “COVID-19 has magnified some of the issues that Samaritans volunteers encounter such as anxiousness and mental health, loneliness and isolation, and family and relationship issues.
"In the midst of this crisis, it is our volunteers who are doing everything they can to be there for people who need us.
"We experienced a drop in volunteer numbers due to self-isolation, shielding and cocooning but we were able to manage this by some volunteers doubling up on their number of shifts per week”.