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UK News

Christian helpline saw 'enormous' increase in loneliness calls  as Scarlett Moffatt shares Samaritans experience

by Sophie Drew

Gogglebox star Scarlett Moffatt - who recently announced her Christian faith - has admitted to calling Samaritans during lockdown due to feelings of loneliness. 

Samaritans - a charity helpline helping people struggling with isolation and mental health difficulties - saw a huge increase in calls during the pandemic. 

Lifeline, a Christian helpline offering a prayer and support, noticed a similar trend - particularly during the lockdowns. 

Calls to Lifeline rocketed in the early days of the pandemic, when forced closures and mandatory isolation saw many Brits experiencing overwhelming feelings of loneliness. 

Jonathan Clark, head of Lifeline, said: "As soon as COVID started to spread, we actually had a significant increase in numbers of calls. 

"It was very noticeable that people were phoning up wanting prayer, or to talk about issues around fear, anxiety, stress; all the different things being triggered in their minds regarding - for the first time anyone had really experienced - the pandemic.

"It completely turned their lives upside down. 

"It changed what they could or couldn't do. 

"People who are used to messing up socially were being told to stay at home.

"It became very apparent people were becoming very isolated. 

"Everything they relied upon for social contact was being deprived them. For the first time in living memory, churches were told to close and for the people who call lifeline that would be a major thing. 

"For those who had pre-existing health conditions, mental health problems, they would often be involved in special social activities for their problems, clubs, resources, support networks, all of those just disappeared overnight.

"The number of calls that we received over those first six months, it just increased enormously."

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