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West London Samaritans supports national campaign to help people open up about their mental health struggles

Ealing, Hammersmith & Hounslow Samaritans are supporting a new national campaign to help people to open up about their struggles with mental health and suicidal feelings.

The #BreaktheSilence winter campaign, has been launched by the national Samaritans charity to encourage people to open up about their struggles with mental health and suicidal feelings.

The Samaritans say that every 90 minutes in the UK, someone dies by suicide, but talking saves lives.

Heena Johnson, director of Ealing, Hammersmith & Hounslow Samaritans, which is 50-years-old this year said: “Winter can be a tough time for many and this year could be especially so as households brace themselves for higher bills. We’re backing #BreaktheSilence to remind the West London community that they don’t need to struggle alone.”

Volunteers from the Ealing-based Samaritans branch will join over 13,000 from 200 other Samaritans branches across the UK and Ireland who’ll be on duty around the clock over the festive season to answer calls for help from people feeling overwhelmed this winter.

Heena added: “We understand that difficult feelings can be felt at any season, which is why our volunteers are here day and night, 365 days a year to give people the space to explore feelings that perhaps they cannot share with anyone else.”

To help raise funds for the local west London group, a carol-singing fundraising event on the evening of 20 December 2022 at Ealing Broadway Station.

Ian, 57 from London knows how the pressure to enjoy the festivities can make it hard to open up. It was during a challenging period of his life when he was struggling with anxiety attacks, he found himself alone on Christmas Eve. Samaritans was there to support him as he reached breaking point.

Ian said: “Christmas is such an emotive time, families are together, but there I was on the sofa on my own, having panic attacks and thoughts about suicide. Everything had got on top of me. I didn’t feel I could even talk to my partner, but I needed someone who I didn’t know to just sit there and let me be vulnerable. At that point, Samaritans was there.”

Visit samaritans.org/silence for more information on the Samaritans Winter Appeal or bit.ly/39G5zPk to give directly to Ealing, Hammersmith & Hounslow Samaritans.

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