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Samaritans appeal for more volunteers

In Cumbria, last year around 50 people took their own lives.

That's more than nine suicides for every hundred thousand people and is higher than the national average, which is below eight people per hundred thousand.

Last year The Samaritans saw a 10 per cent increase in calls to its Cumbrian branches, they're now appealing for people to come forward and take calls from those in distress.

Pam Royle spoke to Grahame Pinches from the Whitehaven branch of The Samaritans and began by asking him how important is it for new volunteers to come forward.

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Samaritans offer support for people this Christmas

For most people Christmas is a time for celebrating with friends and family but for some it can be one of the most difficult times of the year.

Samaritans is a charity group there for those who need someone to talk to when times get tough.

One in six calls made to them is about money worries and its generally men making those calls.

Figures out today show that in the last five years the calls about money, jobs and housing have nearly doubled.

The charity is gearing up for a busy period over Christmas. Earlier Pam and Ian spoke to Libby from the Samaritans and asked her how it can help anyone under financial pressure.

The Samaritans offer help and support for people across the country 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you you need to speak with someone about anything that's worrying you, you can call them on 08457 90 90 90 or visit their website www.samaritans.org.

Campaign to reduce suicide in young men

Cumbria mental health service is supporting a campaign by the Samaritans to try and reduce the number of suicides in young men.

Dr Richard Thwaites, Clinical Lead for the Cumbria mental health service First Step, explains:

“About three quarters of suicides in Cumbria are among men. I think the new campaign from the Samaritans is a great opportunity to raise awareness and encourage men to seek help when they need it.

"Men can be hesitant to seek treatment for psychological problems for various reasons, such as a belief that they ‘should’ be able to cope or that experiencing such problems makes them weak. Clearly this isn’t true - First Step receives referrals for over 6,000 men each year suffering with such problems.

"This is a normal part of life for men, even if it’s not as widely discussed as it may be for women. First Step offers a range of evidence-based treatments that can help men to understand and change the way they have been feeling.

"I urge any men in Cumbria who feel that they are struggling to contact First Step on 0300 123 9122 or visit their GP for support to tackle the problem. Or, if you would like to talk to someone urgently about your problems, to call the Samaritans on 08457 909090.”

– Dr Richard Thwaites, Clinical Lead for First Step, explains:

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