New Samaritans figures reveal rising impact of financial worries on mental health

Samaritans is calling on the Government to invest more in crucial suicide prevention and mental health support as new analysis shows the charity is receiving record numbers of first-time callers worried about finances or unemployment.

As the Chancellor prepares to announce the spring Budget, Samaritans figures show that January 2023 saw the highest percentage of first-time phone callers concerned about finance or unemployment, at 9.3% of total emotional support contacts and working out at over 1,300 new callers.

The figures continued to rise in February 2023, hitting 9.7% of first-time callers, with Samaritans volunteers receiving an average of 400 calls a day from all contacts related to finance or unemployment concerns across its services.

Julie Bentley, Chief Executive of Samaritans, said: “Our volunteers are on the front line of when it comes to supporting people facing some really tough moments and while there can be many challenges to be faced, we’re seeing just how much the cost-of-living crisis in particular is starting to hit home.

“It is therefore crucial that suicide prevention receives meaningful investment from the Government.

“There’s no doubt Jeremy Hunt has a tough job to balance the books, but suicide rates in England remain as high now as they were 20 years ago, and this simply isn’t good enough. I urge the Chancellor to use this Budget as an opportunity to genuinely help save lives and put a firm financial commitment behind their plans for a new suicide prevention strategy.”

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