Statistics show locals ‘bottle up’ problems

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Research has shown that many people in Northern Ireland bottle up their problems rather than talk to others.

The survey, published to promote the Samaritans’ ‘Talk To Us’ campaign, also reveals that nearly one in five (19%) people sometimes feel overwhelmed by their troubles, and 16% also feel they don’t have anyone to share them with.

Other barriers to opening up about what’s bothering us include: Feeling embarrassed 13%; feeling weak 13% or feeling judged 13%.

For those of us who do feel able to share, the person we are most likely to go to is a partner - nearly one in five or 19%), then a friend (13%).

Just under 19% will just bottle it up and 13% will avoid people and spend time alone.

Over and above big life events such as a bereavement, redundancy or divorce, the survey also asked people to list the day to day things that have been bothering them the most in the last 12 months.The top five and the percentage of people who listed them are: Relationships (47%); Physical health (47%); Work (44%); Home Life (41%); Family arguments (34%).

Director of Ballymena Samaritans, Tracey Scott, says talking can really help people to see a way through their problems.

“There’s nothing weak about talking about what’s getting to you. Recognising your need to talk is a strength. Everyone’s different and what one person might cope with can easily overwhelm another. Our volunteers can support you, whatever you’re going through - work stress, money troubles, family difficulties, sexuality issues, or a big life event. Samaritans’ volunteers won’t judge you and we’re here round the clock every day of the year to listen in confidence about whatever you need to share. You don’t have to be suicidal to call Samaritans, we provide support to anyone who may be struggling to cope.”

Throughout the month of July, Samaritans volunteers up and down Northern Ireland will be staging events to raise awareness of the services they provide in their local communities.

To find out about Talk To Us events in your local area, please go to www.samaritans.org

Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year. It provides a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they are feeling and whatever life has done to them. Please call 08457 90 90 90 (calls will cost 2p per minute plus your telephone company’s access charge), email jo@samaritans.org, text 07725 90 90 90 or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of the nearest branch.