SEVEN new signs across Cork city are encouraging people to contact the Samaritans if they are struggling with their mental health.
The signs are located in different areas of the city including riverside locations and include the message: 'Talk to us, we'll listen'.
Speaking toabout the new signs, Mick Nugent, who is in charge of recruitment for the Cork office, said the signs have come at a good time.
"While we have always had signage in the city encouraging people to contact the Samaritans if they are struggling, the new placards are an important reminder to people that the Samaritans are here to help, especially at Christmas, which can be a hard time for many people.
"It's a free phone number which we would urge people to contact if they need to.
"The new signs are part of the 'Connecting for Life' campaign which is a five-year HSE plan, the principal aim of which is to significantly decrease the levels of suicide in Ireland."
Samaritan phone lines are open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.
Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer yesterday praised the approach taken by Cork Samaritans, the HSE and Cork city council.
"I'm really pleased that our city is reaching out in the area of mental health," Mr Buttimer stated.
"People are not alone and it’s critical that we reach out to those feeling vulnerable.
"I am pleased that further signs will be going up across Cork city and county in 2020.
"As a society working with government and through organisations like the Samaritans people have a safe space to talk any time," he continued.
The Cork Samaritans branch has been in the city for almost 50 years but due to the demand for services, the charity is always looking for volunteers.
The next information evening for this will take place on January 8 in their centre on Coach Street.