Boxing Day peak for helplines
SUPPORT charity Samaritans saw a large increase in the number of people calling their helplines over this festive period.
The charity - which offers a listening service to people in crisis - saw calls up 29% on last year.
Christmas and New Year are traditionally the busiest times for crisis calls to Samaritans.
Boxing Day was the peak time for calls, with 5,936 people ringing the national helpline number.
Christmas Day saw 4,758 calls received.
New Year's Eve saw 4,376 calls received, while New Year's Day - traditionally the busiest day of the year - got 5,350 calls.
Pauline Rawlinson, director of Huddersfield Samaritans, said calls peak after Christmas because people feel depressed once the festivities are over.
Many may have spent Christmas with relatives, but then had to return home to their troubles alone.
She said: "We were busy over the Christmas period with people who were alone and just wanting to talk.
"We got a lot of people calling over New year. Everything is flat after Christmas and it is bad weather and people get feelings of depression."
Samaritans receives the most calls in January and February, with the third Monday in January - known as Blue Monday -considered the most depressing day of the year.
The charity is urging people who are feeling low to call them.
Mrs Rawlinson said: "It is a good thing that we were busy - we want people to feel that they can get in touch.
"Just raising the profile of Samaritans helps because it puts us in people minds and they know they can ring us.
"People don't need to be suicidal to call. We are always there if they need to talk."
* Samaritans can be contacted 08457 90 90 90 or locally on 01484 533388. People can also email for support on firstname.lastname@example.org.
The service operates 24-hours a day, seven days a week and is entirely confidential and non- judgemental.