Plea for helpers ahead of most depressing day

One of the helpline's workers
One of the helpline's workers
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Residents have been asked to spare four hours a fortnight to offer a listening ear to people with mental health problems.

Lancashire’s ‘Wellbeing and Mental Health Helpline’ is looking for volunteers who can help man the service – with bosses conceding they need help to run it.

The plea came ahead of Blue Monday, said to be the most depressing day of the year – with poor weather, debt from Christmas, low motivational levels caused by failed new year’s resolutions, among the factors originally used to calculate the date.

One operator at the service said: “The most satisfying aspect of taking calls on the helpline is when you sense from the caller’s tone of voice that they have been lifted during the conversation.

“Being told ‘thank you very much for listening’, by somebody who has felt the need to call and speak to a stranger on the telephone, means a lot.”

The service is open Monday to Friday from 7pm to 11pm, and from noon to midnight on weekends.

It can be called on 0800 915 4640. To discuss becoming a volunteer, call (01253) 447900.