10 °CSun, 18

Facing a challenge in life – Samaritans offer support

Shauna Loughran

Reporter:

Shauna Loughran

HOW do you cope with change? Are you one of the fortunate ones who see every change you face as a new challenge?

Change is inevitable and must be faced by everyone from the moment you are born to the time you pass away.

It could be starting a new school, university, new job or it could be facing the loss of a loved one, not getting the results you need, illness or financial hardship.

Everyone at some point in their lives might struggle to cope with the changes they face – it is not a sign of weakness to seek support if you need it.

If you need to speak to someone in confidence call Samaritans’ 24/7 confidential helpline. Samaritans are always available to listen.

Samaritans believe that talking to anyone – family, friends, colleagues, health professionals - is better than suffering in silence.

Include Samaritans’ as part of your support network, as it is sometimes easier talking to a stranger about your feelings.

Jacquie, the Director of Samaritans of Ballymena, said “Seeking support is a sign of strength, don’t let feelings of despair lead to thoughts of suicide.

“It is a myth that you have to be suicidal to contact Samaritans, we are there to listen to and support anyone who is finding life hard or is struggling to cope. Our aim is that, by giving you the space to talk, then fewer people will die by suicide.

“Sometimes it can be easier to talk to someone that you don’t know.

“You need to know that there is always someone that can help you overcome your fears and just be there to listen.

“Whenever you need support, even in the middle of the night, a volunteer will be available.

“Contact us on 116123 or e-mail jo@samaritans.org ”.

Ballymena Samaritans also has a very strong outreach team, going out to schools, clubs, in fact any organisation that invites Samaritans to come and talk about the work we do.

If you would like to find out more about the service provided by Samaritans or if you would like a representative to come to your group, church or school please get in touch.

Talks are tailored to suit different groups and ages.

Contact the Ballymena branch on 028 2564 4846 daily between 7.30pm and 10.00pm or e-mail ballymenasamsoffice@gmail.com for more information.

Samaritans has eight branches throughout Northern Ireland which can be contacted in confidence, 24 hours a day on 116123.

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