“Tell me how do it feel when your heart grows cold….”
January, the season of discarded Christmas trees and broken dreams, delayed major construction projects, festering pent up emotions, and dark dark days of regret. The third Monday is January has been labelled “Blue Monday” , supposedly the most depressing day of the year. Volunteers from the Chester branch of Samaritans were on hand at Chester train station today offering Samaritans branded tea bags, pens, mince pies and a friendly ear as part of a national “Brew Monday” initiative. The event was funded by Network Rail and also supported by Arriva trains wales.
“The idea is for people to have a cup of tea, a chat , and feel better!” said volunteer Jan who has been volunteering with the charity for 8 years.
Samaritans is there for anyone who wants to talk and volunteers are keen to stress that the service they offer is for anyone, not just people with suicidal thoughts.
. “Unfortunately Samaritans is linked with suicide. We don’t just talk to people about suicide, we want to talk to people way before they get that bad. People don’t go 0 to 100, it starts with feeling a bit down and varying degrees of depression. ” said Jan. “There are different ways of getting in touch, from traditional phone calls, email, available internationally or face to face.” Most recent figures from Chester Samaritans reveal that in 2015 they answered 14,848 phone calls and sent 5728 emails and texts.
As someone who suffers from depression myself, its a comfort to learn about the great work being done in the community by the Samaritans volunteers. While Blue Monday certainly lived up to its name with grey dingy skies and general feeling of dismay, Jane Howarth , the Director of the Chester branch pointed out that “difficult feelings don’t work to a calendar and external circumstances are only one part of what can makes life feel overwhelming.”
The Samaritans : 01244 377999
For a more detailed feature on the Samaritans work in Chester see https://thechesterblog.com/2016/01/15/the-samaritans/