SAMARITANS are encouraging the owners of buildings and landmarks across Clare to light up in green this Tuesday to show help is available on the longest night of the year.

During the darkest hours for people that are struggling or lonely this Christmas, Samaritans will keep their helplines open. Volunteers on the 24-hour-helpline answered more than 35,000 calls in Ireland last December, including almost 1,000 contacts on Christmas Day alone.

Concerns over loneliness and isolation increased last December on the national helpline, accounting for 38% of emotional support calls, followed by mental health/illness, family issues and Covid 19.

To show the public that there is help available, Samaritans are calling for personnel responsible to light up buildings and landmarks across the county in green this Tuesday (December 21st), the day in which darkness is more prevalent than any other in the year.

Áras Contae an Chláir, Active Ennis Leisure Centre and the Clare Youth Centre are among the buildings that will turn green for the winter solstice. Businesses that wish to take part can email Ann at samsennis11@gmail.com.

Margaret McMahon who is the branch director of Samaritans in Ennis outlined, “It has been a really difficult year for so many people with the pandemic affecting so many people’s health and wellbeing and this will be a very different Christmas for many people. We know that people struggle more at Christmas, as it’s a time when loneliness can really hit home. We want people to know that we are available 24/7 for everyone on freephone 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.ie “.

Anyone can contact Samaritans FREE any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit. This number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or you can email jo@samaritans.ie or visit https://www.samaritans.org/ireland/branches/ennis/.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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