Samaritans survey shows brighter outlook in regionBy Laura Nightingale
January 07, 2013
PEOPLE in the south east are less concerned about politics and the current government than anywhere else in the country, according to the Samaritans’ annual 'worries' survey for 2012.
A recently published YouGov survey for the charity showed only 14% of residents put politics in their top five worries – this compared with 28% in the region in 2011.
The survey suggested there was a smaller fall in those worried about world affairs, down from 28% in 2011 to just 18% now.
Almost half in the south east said they were most concerned about money, the same as the previous year and comparable to the national average.
However, 32% felt 2012 had been a good year or the best ever – the highest figure in the country.
Andrew Docherty, director of the Farnborough Samaritans Branch covering Fleet, Farnborough and Yateley, said: “It is great to see such a high proportion of people in this area say the last year has been good but there are also lots of local people who are less fortunate, with many worrying about money in particular. This time of year can be particularly stressful and lonely.”
Mr Docherty added the Samaritans branch in Farnborough was always there to listen to those who needed help.
“I would like also to say a big thank you to all our volunteers who will be helping over the next few weeks and also in the year ahead,” he added.
In this region, 22% of people in the survey said they would have a social drink, lower than the majority of regions, while just 9% would rely on prescription drugs – the third lowest in the country after the north east with 2% and the north west with 7%.
A new question, asking how people deal with their worries, found that 32% of those who had worries in 2012 would choose to talk about their problems, while 37% preferred just to ‘grin and bear it’ – the highest figure in the country along with the south west.
Catherine Johnstone, Samaritans chief executive, said: “It is worrying that more than a third of people in the south east would do nothing to deal with issues that are worrying them.
“Sometimes it can be difficult to turn to your friends and family but talking can help you to see your situation in a different light and find your way forward.
“As the nation’s listening ear, we would like to remind people struggling to cope that Samaritans will continue to be there for anybody who needs someone to listen to them.”
The survey has been carried out annually since 2008 and the this year’s figures came from a sample of 2,162 adults.
Fieldwork was undertaken between November 28 and 30 and the survey was carried out online.
People can contact the Samaritans when they are struggling to cope and need someone to talk to. More than 20,000 Samaritans’ volunteers are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The helpline provides a safe place to talk and all conversations are private. For more information or support, call Samaritans of Farnborough on 08457 909090.