Samaritans Ireland have released their 2020 Impact Report, with loneliness and isolation high among the concerns of those who contacted them.
The report reveals that Samaritans Ireland received a call every 56 seconds last year, with a total of 540,000 calls answered (418,135 in the Republic of Ireland and 121,444 in Northern Ireland.)
24,000 emails were also received (11,433 in the Republic and 12,420 in the North.)
The main concerns of those who contacted the Samaritans in 2020 were mental health, isolation, loneliness, family or relationship issues and COVID-19.
Executive Director for Samaritans Ireland Niall Mulligan called the pandemic "undoubtedly the most serious challenge Samaritans has faced in our 60 years in Ireland" and said the organisation is needed "now more than ever."
The pandemic impacted Samaritans Ireland, with 40% of its volunteers forced to step back due to COVID-19 related issues. A quarter of volunteers have yet to return.
The report highlights the impact of job losses during the pandemic, stating "many people [who called] had suffered job losses leading to uncertainty for the future."
Samaritans Ireland can be contacted on 116 123 or at firstname.lastname@example.org