Sunday - a great day for feeling suicidal

Sunday might once have been a day of rest, but it has turned into the day of dread, say the Samaritans.

New research carried out on behalf of the organisation, which helps the lonely and suicidal, shows that Sunday is the day when it receives the most telephone calls from people in distress, and many of the callers are suffering from pre-Monday morning blues.

"Knowing that they have to return to the office to face the boss, or go back to school to encounter a bully, causes a great deal of distress," said Samaritans spokeswoman Emma Barton.

Sunday's unique position - on the cusp between the playtime of the weekend and the start of the working week - is the cause of its high rate of callers. Sixteen per cent of calls are made on Sunday and 32 per cent of them are taken between 10pm and 2am.

According to the Samaritans, the Sunday rush begins soon after midnight on Saturday as people return home from a night out. "They might have had too much to drink, or had a row with a girlfiend," said volunteer Paul Farmer. "It gets incredibly busy between one and three in the morning."

Later, calls pick up with those at home alone on Sunday phoning in. Their sense of isolation is heightened because many still see Sunday as a family day, and assume the rest of the world is enjoying time with their relatives, or relishing peace and quiet.

"If you are in turmoil, then the feeling that the rest of the world is enjoying tranquillity can really get to you," said Mr Farmer.

As Sunday afternoon turns to evening, different types of callers telephone. The thought of the stresses and strains of the working week tend to dominate these conversations, say the Samaritans.

"Another reason we get so many calls on Sundays is that many other organisations are shut," said Mr Farmer. "On other days, your GP would be available. But suicidal thoughts don't wait for appointments."

Last year the Samaritans received more than 3.8 million calls, of which a fifth were from first-time callers under the age of 25. Just over half were from men, who used to make far fewer calls than women.

The research into the timing of calls was carried out with the help of BT and the new national Samaritan phoneline. Since it was launched a year ago, more than 625,000 people have used it, while others have continued to use local numbers.

The volume of calls also increases at particular times of year, such as national holidays like Christmas. Calls can be made throughout the UK at any time of day. The national helpline can be phoned for the price of a local call on 0345 90 90 90.

Simon Armson, chief executive of the Samaritans, said: "As we enter the Christmas season, and some people may be feeling that their problems worsen in stark contrast with the collective cheerfulness of others, I hope that many more people may consider picking up the phone, thus relieving their sense of isolation by talking to a Samaritan who will listen in confidence and without judgement."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own