Calls to Samaritans about financial issues double

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CALLS to Samaritans’ helpline about financial worries have doubled in the three years since the onset of the financial crisis.

One in five people contacting the charity this year talked about job concerns, housing problems, debt and other financial pressures, doubling from one in ten calls in 2008*.

These issues are reflected in Samaritans’ annual survey of the nation’s worries which reveals that 63 per cent of people in Northern Ireland fear they won’t have enough money to live comfortably in the coming year. Over a third of people (36%) are concerned about losing their job or having difficulty finding work.

The YouGov poll shows the top five worries of people in Northern Ireland over the last year (2011) are: Money/bank balance/debt - 49%; Problems/issues with family and friends - 42%; World affairs – 34%; Workplace issues – 29%; Physical health issues – 29%.

Brendan, Coleraine Samaritans Branch Director said: “Samaritans receives over 2.5 million calls a year, 70,000 in 2010 in Northern Ireland alone and perhaps more relevant to us approximately 18,00 per year, since the onset of the financial crisis in 2008, the number of people calling us about their money worries has doubled.

“If you’re struggling to cope with the challenges you’re facing in these difficult times, we’d encourage you to get in touch with Samaritans. Our service runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is available throughout the Christmas and New Year period.”