Desperate times in Wales as Samaritans calls reach five year high

Approximately 233 people per volunteer contacted Samaritans in Wales during 2013 alone, a new report shows.

Figures released by Samaritans show that Wales had 691 people volunteering throughout the year and was contacted a staggering 161,170 times. The charity was called at least once every three minutes, while emails had increased by seven per cent. Text message volumes, meanwhile, rose by 22 per cent, according to samaritans.org.

The 'Impact Report for 2013/14' went into detail about the nine Samaritans branches in Wales, as well as the work by volunteers. This includes a secondary school 'step-by-step' suicide response service, identifying railway suicide hotspots and encouraging conversation amongst prison inmates.

Across the entire UK and ROI, calls for help also reached a five year high with 5.23 million in 2013, reports bbc.co.uk. Job loss and benefit cuts are thought to be the main reasons why more people endured suicidal feelings.

Sarah Stone, Samaritans Executive Director for Wales, said: "I want to give a huge thank you to our volunteers.

"Samaritans wouldn't exist without their generosity and hard work. It is important we keep working to raise awareness of the benefits of talking. Everyone has moments in their life where they struggle to cope, but talking can be incredibly powerful and our service allows our callers to find their own way forward."