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Samaritans join in support for Limerick Mental Health Week

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Samaritans Limerick Mental Health Week – Pictured above are Samaritans volunteers Catherine and Lorraine for Mental Health Awareness Week 

Samaritans join in support for Limerick Mental Health Week

By I Love Limerick Correspondent Ann Mc Donald

Samaritans, a charity aimed at proving emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide, have come out in support of Limerick Mental Health Week.

Catherine, Slater Director of Samaritans Limerick and Tipperary branch said, “We’ve seen an increase in concerns about mental health among callers compared to the same time last year. The pandemic’s challenges are continuing and won’t immediately ease off with restrictions lifting. Therefore, it’s vitally important we do everything we can to help anyone who needs support.

“Taking the time to enjoy your favourite activities, whatever they are – something easy and every day, or something more strenuous or creative – can be great ways to look after your mental wellbeing. You don’t have to be an expert to make a difference, and potentially save someone’s life.”

Limerick Mental Health Week has been running from Friday, October 8, and will continue until Friday, October 15.

In honour of the week, the Limerick Council Chambers, King John’s Castle, University of Limerick, Mary Immaculate College and the Clayton Hotel lit up in green as the Ilen, the last of Ireland’s traditional wooden sailing ships, sailed from the Shannon Estuary to Limerick City at the Clayton Hotel on Friday, October 8.

On board the Ilen, Mayor Daniel Butler officially launched Limerick Mental Health Week with an act of commemoration for the 294 Limerick people who lost their lives to Covid-19. He was joined on the ship by singer Emma Langford and Olympian Roisin Upton.

The past two years have been difficult, and many people have experienced challenges with their mental health and wellbeing. In 2020 alone, the Samaritans in Ireland answered over 520,000 calls on their 24/7 helpline.

They are available both day and night for anyone who is having difficulty coping, or just needs someone to listen without judgement or pressure.

The Samaritans were established in Ireland in 1961 and have 21 branches across Ireland with over 2,000 active volunteers.

The Samaritans are not only for moments of crisis but take actions to prevent the crisis. The pandemic has challenged us all and has a significant impact on peoples’ mental health and may continue to have an impact in peoples lives in the years and months to come, and the Samaritans want people to know that they are there 24/7 to help people through whatever issues they are facing.

If you, or anyone you know, would like to contact Samaritans, they are available for contact for free 24/7 on 116 123, or you can email [email protected], or visit their website.

For more about Samaritans go HERE

For more stories about mental health go HERE 

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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