An Irish suicide charity helpline in Britain has reported that it received 600 calls last months from Irish immigrants at "immediate risk" of taking their own lives.
The charity Console's new London center received a further 1,100 calls from people at a "low or moderate risk of suicide and another 500 calls from family members still in Ireland who were concerned about their loved one in Britain, the Irish Examiner reports.
Many people reach a low point after arriving in Britain full of hope for a new life only to find they are unprepared for the lack of jobs and the high cost of accommodation, says Paul Kelly, who founded the charity 11 years ago. Many who contacted the Westminster center were young adults aged 18 to to their early 30s, and the majority were young men.
“They said things like they felt disconnected, suffering from loneliness and isolation. That led some to enter into a state of despair. They felt they had let themselves and their families down,” he said.
Kelly added that the center also received a large volume of calls from Ireland from family members of people living in Britain, particularly mothers and girlfriends, who were concerned about their struggling sons and boyfriends.
Meanwhile, St Patrick’s Mental Health Support Service says that it received 2,510 calls for support in 2013, a 29% increase from 2012. Email contacts also rose 46% to 1,450.
Tom Maher, director of Clinical Services at St Patrick’s said, “It’s encouraging to see the substantial increase in mental health queries to the St Patrick’s Support Service during 2013. It’s a sign that we are getting better at talking about our mental health.”