A NEW campaign has been launched by the Samaritans to raise awareness of its round-the-clock emotional support services and to encourage people to get in touch if they need support.

The south Cumbria Samaritans branch says it has continued to provide emotional support throughout the pandemic as Coronavirus (Covid-19) has taken a psychological toll on residents.

Since the lockdown period began in March, Samaritans volunteers suggest that one in three callers discuss Covid with many people reportedly feeling more anxious and distressed than before the pandemic. Samaritans also says its volunteers nationwide have provided emotional support more than half a million times during this time.

Volunteer surveys conducted on behalf of the charity - with over 3,000 responses - have also found that the most common concerns related to Covid are around loneliness, isolation, mental health and illness, as well as family, finances and unemployment.

The campaign has the tagline ‘Talk To Us’.

Samaritans’ Barrow branch director Catherine Bland said: “Our volunteers have been working day and night to be there for anyone who is struggling in these uncertain and challenging times.

“Lockdown restrictions have had a huge impact on everyday life for many people, as we’ve been hearing over the past few months, and our volunteers have been a much-needed source of support for those whose networks haven’t been available during the pandemic...we hope that the public can continue to support us in any way they can.

Call 116 123 if you need help.