500,000 calls taken by NI Helplines during 2021 | Newry Times

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Friday, February 11th, 2022

Helplines NI has announced that its member helplines received over 500,000 calls for help and support in 2021. 


500,000 calls taken by helplines in northern ireland during 2021 - Newry Times - down newspaper


The NI based group, supported by the Public Health Agency, which comprises 35 different helplines, offers access to a variety of confidential support services including crisis support, counselling and advice.

The online platform is encouraging anyone in County Down who may need support or advice, to get in touch via its website. 



Clients who use the confidential service are signposted to the organisation which is best suited to their needs.

These include charities, Advice NI, Lifeline and Samaritans.

All of the member helplines offer a variety of vital support services, including providing information, advice, and counselling on a range of topics from debt, benefits and housing rights, family and relationship problems to business support and employment. 

They also offer a listening ear to the most vulnerable in society, along with immediate support to those with a wide range of health and wellbeing needs.

Clodagh Crowe, Chair at Helplines NI and Head of Operations and Strategic Development at Rural Support comments, “Since the onset of Covid, there has been an increased demand for Helplines NI’s services.


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“We know that anyone can find themselves dealing with any aspect of life’s challenges, particularly in the last two years, and Helplines NI is specifically designed to help.

“We understand the increasing complexity of life’s issues and would compel anyone in County Down who needs support to get in touch.”

Helplines NI is a ‘one-stop shop’ for anyone seeking the right support for their needs.  

Help is provided by member organisations through a number of channels, including phone calls, email, text and in some cases, live webchat.

Clodagh continues, “Helplines NI supports its member organisations to help people with a vast and varied range of issues, from homelessness to depression.  

“Our infrastructure is designed to help those in need discreetly locate the best support and advice for their circumstances at the touch of a button.”



Claire O’Prey, Vice-Chair at Helplines NI and Team Leader at Lifeline, adds, “Lifeline received over 44,000 calls in 20/21, and with people struggling now more than ever during the pandemic, we would encourage anyone who feels that they may need help, to reach out for support as soon as possible.

“The Helplines NI service signposts individuals to seek the support that they need to move forward positively with their lives.

“Upon engaging with Helplines NI, you will be able to connect with the right service, and a person that understands your situation and how best to support you.”

Helplines NI’s member organisations regularly convene to share information, discuss best practices and discover trends.

As a result, each helpline is aware of the others’ capabilities and is equipped to make internal referrals where necessary.

Julie Aiken, Regional Manager for Samaritans in Northern Ireland, says, “Some of the key reasons that people reach out to us are isolation and loneliness, along with family, mental health and/or relationship problems.



“We would strongly encourage anyone who is struggling to utilise Helplines NI as the first port of call.

She adds, “The service is easily accessible and can signpost you to a trusted advisor with whom you can speak in confidence, allowing you to progress your life.”

For more information or to contact Helplines NI, click here.


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