Belfast Telegraph

Samaritans' festivals work a boon

By Staff Reporter

More than 1,200 people sought help from the Samaritans at festivals in Northern Ireland last year.

The charity revealed the figures as the Samaritans Festival Group prepares for the 11th year of raising suicide awareness at key events in Northern Ireland throughout the summer months.

This unique outreach programme will see Samaritans festival volunteers present at the North West 200 in Portrush this month, Gay Pride in Belfast at the end of July and beginning of August, and Dalriada Festival at Glenarm Castle in July.

They offer confidential, non-judgmental, face-to-face emotional support in a discreet way. Samaritans festival director, Catherine Slater, said: "On average, around 289 people take their lives in Northern Ireland every year and we believe that being present at these events increases the availability and accessibility of the Samaritan services."

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