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Calls to St Patrick's mental health support line up by almost one third

The service also saw an increase of 46 per cent in email enquiries in 2013.

Image: man on phone image via Shutterstock

ST PATRICK’S MENTAL health support line service saw an rise of 29 per cent in calls in 2013 – the third increase in as many years.

The service, which is now in its fifth year, also had 46 per cent more email enquiries. Figures for 2013, released today, reveal a significant increase in calls relating to depression at 572, compared to 382 in 2012.

A large number of the calls were also related to anxiety. There were 1,846 female callers last year, which almost tripled that of their male counterparts.

Tom Maher, Director of Clinical Services at St Patrick’s said it was “encouraging to see the substantial increase in mental health queries” to the service.

It’s a sign that we are getting better at talking about our mental health which is a hugely positive development.

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Maher said that many of the service’s users wait at least a year before accessing help for mental health difficulty and international research demonstrates that earlier intervention leads to better outcomes.

“There are many reasons people wait before reaching out for support but it’s important that they know support is there and it’s easily accessible when they are ready,” he said.

Financed by the St Patrick’s Mental Health Foundation Walk in My Shoes campaign, the service is the only one of its kind in the country. Staffed by experienced mental health nurses, it provides advice, guidance and support for the public, health care professionals and mental health care service users.

The service is available Monday to Friday with a voicemail and call-back facility. If you need to talk to someone, you can call 01 2493333 or email info@stpatsmail.com.

Read: Samaritans received more than 10,000 calls over Christmas>

Read: Concern over high level of undetected PTSD among Irish psychiatric clients>

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