60% of texts to Samaritans 'suicidal'
More than 60 per cent people who texted the Dublin Samaritans in the year period up to September 2012 reported suicidal feelings while almost a third mentioned self-harm.
The finding, contained in the annual report of the Dublin branch of the Samaritans, compares to 11 per cent of email contacts which mentioned self-harm and just 1 per cent of telephone and face-to-face contacts in the same time period.
Director of the Dublin Samaritans, Eileen Foley said that, while the organisation does not record the age of people who contact the service, the gender breakdown shows that 89 per cent of the 1,958 text contacts to the service last year were from female texters. This compares to a 50/50 gender split among telephone and face-to-face contacts while 77 per cent of those who emailed the service were female.
Overall the number of text contacts made to the branch was down by 28.3 per cent on the 2010/11 year-period, something Ms Foley said was due to an increase in the number of branches providing a text facility meaning these contacts are now “dispersed around the country”.
The number of overall contacts to the service remained consistent from the previous year-period at around 80,000, contacts however, the percentage of those contacting the service by phone increased by 2.3 per cent; those who visited the service's offices at 112 Marlborough Street in Dublin 1 increased by 7.8 per cent; and email contacts increased by 19 per cent.
Ms Foley said the percentage of contacts citing financial concerns had grown from 8.4 per cent in the 2010/11 period to 10.4 per cent in 2011/12. However, she said the primary issues of concern to those who contacted the Samaritans were loneliness (29 per cent); health (21 per cent); and relationship issues (19 per cent).
The Samaritans can be contacted at 1850-609090, email@example.com or by text at 087 2609090.