SAMARITANS in Somerset saw four per cent more people contacting them last year ... and more than half of these were women.

Taunton and Somerset branch of the charity received nearly 38,000 phone calls, 1,800 emails and 2,200 text messages.

Of the people who contacted Samaritans, 52% were women and 5,000 callers expressed suicidal feelings – but the charity says fewer people die by suicide.

The Samaritans’ confidential service listens to people talk about anything that is getting them down. Only one in five people who call feel suicidal at the time.

Common topics include relationship and family problems, bereavement; financial worries; stress; loneliness; depression; disability, alcohol or drug issues; suicide attempts or selfharming.

Speaking after the branch’s AGM this month, director Ian Hawkins said: “In total, in 2013, branch volunteers gave up 15,600 hours of their time to help others, including emotional support provided to bring relief to those areas suffering from the recent floods.”

For details about volunteering call 08705 62 72 82, visit or email