Samaritans volunteers in Northern Ireland are helping to promote the charity’s brand new ‘We Listen’ campaign, which lets people know that anyone can call Samaritans, whatever they’re going through.
Striking posters in railway stations across Northern Ireland and throughout Belfast city centre contain hidden messages where people claiming to be fine are not OK at all. One says; “It does feel rubbish losing a job, but not desperate”, the real message being, ‘I’m not coping’.
Supported by Translink the campaign aims to show that while it’s easy to hide your feelings, when someone really listens you’re more likely to open up and start working through your problems. Good listeners can unlock the potentially damaging secrets some people keep. Samaritans are there for everyone and they don’t just hear you, they really listen.
Every 90 minutes someone in the UK or Ireland dies by suicide and while most of us like to think we’re good listeners, we keep quiet about our own problems. Statistics released by Samaritans today show nearly three quarters (71%) of people in Northern Ireland believe they’re good listeners, but only a quarter (25%) feel they can talk when something’s on their mind.
Pamela James, Samaritans Belfast Director, said “Life’s pressures can build, without you even realising. It’s all too easy to turn away, ignore how you’re feeling, and put on a brave face. But you don’t have to do that with us. Samaritans volunteers make time for you and really listen to you, because simply being listened to can help you put into words what’s really going on in your life and help you find a way through.
“It might be the pressures of family, relationships, work, health, finances – or anything else. Talk to Samaritans for free from any phone, email us, text us or come into one of our eight branches and chat face to face. Whatever works best for you, we’ll listen and help you find a way through.”
Translink has been working with Samaritans to raise awareness of the charity’s emotional support services since 2010.
Translink’s Hilton Parr says: “Thousands of people in Northern Ireland travel by train and visit our stations every day. This provides a strong platform to deliver Samaritans’ ‘We Listen’ poster campaign messages so that people know you don’t have to go it alone with your troubles when life is tough. ”
Volunteers will be inviting travellers to find out more about the work they do and the services they offer, and encouraging commuters to spread the word about the new campaign on social media, using the hashtag #WeListen.
You can call Samaritans for free any time from any phone on 116 123 (you don’t even need credit and this number won’t show up on your phone bill), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch.