The Samaritans to provide free emotional support services at Pride

The Samaritans will offer services throughout the entire weekend to listen to event goers feeling alone, anxious, or depressed.

samaritans in green shirts hold pride posters in pride parade

At the same time that Pride is a day of celebration, crowds, high expectations, and social interactions can be sources of distress for queer people and our allies. 

Because of the sometimes intense nature of festivals, The Samaritans are offering their non-judgmental listening services to anyone experiencing something they need to talk about this weekend in multiple locations around pride. This initiative adds on to many other accessibility services that will improve Pride for many people including a quiet area, ISL interpretation, and viewing platforms.

According to the Samaritans: “Listening volunteers will be available in the Parliament St./ Capel St. bridge area, for anyone who needs emotional support, from 9 pm on Fri 28th through to the early hours of Sat 29th, and again from around 5 pm on Sat. through to the early hours of Sun 30th June.

“Volunteers will also be available at Parnell Sq. on Sat. 29thbefore the parade sets out, and likewise at Merrion Sq. for the festivities after the parade.”

Theresa Potter, a Samaritans volunteer and Director of the Irish Festival Group, said volunteers set up camp for the weekend- usually sleeping in a local school or community centre and take it in shifts around the clock to be there for anyone who may need a listening ear.

She said: “When you go to an event, with thousands of people you expect that they are having a good time, but that’s not always the case.

“We want to get the message out that Samaritans will be available, day or night, to support those who need us. Anyone who might be struggling to cope, or who may be feeling anxious, depressed or alone in the crowd, can look for a Samaritan to talk to.

She continued: “The welcome we get from the public, especially young people, is so encouraging. They feel that it is incredible that someone has given up their weekend to go out, rain or shine, to be a listening ear to anyone who may be in need.”

Samaritans Irish Festival Group was established 21 years ago and has been supporting thousands of people ever since. More than 2,000 people were given face to face emotional support by its members last year.

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