Press Release

Minister Devins visits Samaritans Dublin offices, meets volunteers and discusses issues around suicide and emotional distress

‘Samaritans provide a fresh pair of ears every three hours and give non judgmental support to people in emotional distress’’ Devins.

Minister for Disability and Mental Health, Dr Jimmy Devins TD this afternoon (October 23rd) visited the Dublin branch of the Samaritans in Marlborough Street.

Samaritans is available 24 hours a day to provide confidential emotional support to people who are experiencing feelings of emotional distress, including those which may lead to suicide.

Minister Devins met the Dublin Branch Chairperson, Liz Cullen and toured the offices including the Duty Room and Training Areas.

He met some of the Samaritans volunteers and discussed issues around suicide awareness. Minister Devins was able to see at first hand the types of calls the Irish Samaritans receive, their training methods, volunteer support and volunteer experiences.

Speaking after the meeting Minister Devins said ‘‘it was an extremely informative meeting, the Irish Samaritans provide a vital service. I was delighted to meet some of the volunteers and see at first hand the type of service that they provide. Samaritans provide a fresh pair of ears every three hours and give non judgmental support to people in emotional distress.’’

The volunteers told Minister Devins that working for the Samaritans is a ‘life enhancing experience’. They noted an increase in calls from older people in isolated communities. They spoke of their work in prisons, schools and outreach programmes.

‘‘Preventing suicide and reducing the rate of suicide is a vital public health issue which is a priority for this Government. It goes right to the heart of our efforts and policies to create a healthy, prosperous and socially inclusive Ireland. International evidence shows that reducing the suicide rate requires a collective, concerted effort from all groups in society – health and other professionals, social services, communities, community leaders, voluntary and statutory agencies. The Samaritans are at the vanguard of these efforts,’’ concluded Minister Devins.