Wicklow people feeling low over Christmas period urged to contact helpline
Pieta House are urging people in Wicklow to contact them over the Christmas period if they are experiencing difficulties over the Christmas period.
Their helpline is open 24 hours a day and can be reached on 1800 247 247 or text HELP to 51444.
The charity is expecting a sharp rise in calls and texts to its helpline due to the pressure brought on by the festive period.
Pieta House is the country’s leading suicide prevention service and recorded an increase in calls to Pieta House of 45% this year compared to 2018.
“It’s important acknowledge how you feel physically, mentally or emotionally this Christmas and equally, do not be alone,” Elaine Austin, CEO of Pieta House says.
“It’s important to go gently and be kind to yourself, to not be frightened by your thoughts, to remind yourself that feelings pass and to reach out to others to get care and support.
“Our team of trained counsellors on our Helpline are there 24/7 to listen and support you in finding your way through this time.
“The pressures of Christmas can be detrimental to people’s mental health, which is why Pieta House needs your support more than ever this Christmas to help spread awareness and donate via the website pieta.ie.”
Figures from the charity also noted an average of 257 calls and 589 texts to its helpline each week with a spike recorded across the Christmas period.
To curb these undue Christmas pressures, Pieta House are calling on the public to keep a closer eye on their friends and family this year, and have shared the signs of suicide to watch out for:
- Sleep – changes in sleep patterns, appetite and level of activity;
- Isolation – withdrawing from family and friends, isolating themselves, staying in their room, not answering phone call/texts;
- Giving away possessions or purposefully putting personal affairs in order;
- No Interest – loss of interest in usual activities. Not being interested in upcoming activities or gatherings;
- Speaking the language of suicide – it is all negative and hopeless;
- Ask – It’s important to understand that this list is not definitive and the only way to know for sure is to ask. So, carry Hope, Ask, Persuade and Refer to Pieta House.