Samaritans has launched a campaign to create a presence in Mayo - the charity gives people a safe place to talk 24 hours a day, seven days a week
The Galway Branch of Samaritans is holding a meeting in the Travellers Friend Hotel on Thursday, September 12 at 7pm. The purpose of this meeting is to talk to anyone who is interested in creating a Samaritan presence in Mayo.
Samaritans is inviting all who want to find out more about the organisation, who have an interest in mental well-being, anyone who might like to train as a volunteer and those who could fundraise with the longer term goal of establishing a branch of Samaritans in Mayo, to this event.
Samaritan volunteers come from all walks of life and are aged from 18 to 88. The only qualification required is a desire to help others and an ability to listen with empathy. Full training is provided for all new volunteers.
Joe, one of the Galway Volunteers, stated: "I became a Samaritans Volunteer three years ago after hearing a radio interview. I wanted to help other ordinary people who are going through a difficult time in their lives.
"I travel from Claremorris to the Samaritans branch in Galway once a week and I can honestly say that I feel rewarded after every duty I do. I have made great friends through other Samaritan volunteers and most importantly, I feel that I have helped other people who are struggling."
A spokesperson of Samaritans said it is imperative to get the message across that help is available to those who need it most, no matter where they live, saying: "So many people living in parts of rural Ireland feel lonely, isolated or that things are too much. We don’t want people to suffer alone. Samaritans wants to reach out to rural communities and those who need support to show that we are here for them.
"Samaritans' volunteers want to help anyone who picks up the phone, texts, emails or visits a branch. You don’t have to feel suicidal to contact us. A huge number of our calls are from people who are lonely, depressed, or anxious about a relationship, job or money.
"It is so important for people who feel they are suffering alone to know that they can pick up the phone for emotional support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is thanks to organisations like Samaritans that we can ensure those most in need are given the space and support to talk through their problems and realise they have a future."