Lonely? There’s someone to talk to this festive season

2008-12-21 00:00

YOU are not alone. That is what the Pietermaritzburg Life Line and Crisis Centre wants people to know this festive season.

Director Debbie Harrison said their lines will stay open 24 hours, seven days a week these holidays to assist people in distress.

In addition, a crisis response team will be on call to help people in extreme crisis situations.

While many people are in high spirits and getting ready to put their party hats on, others are dealing with rape or abuse or suffering the after effects of the death of a loved one, Harrison said.

But loneliness is one of the biggest issues in the holiday season.

“Most of the calls received by Life Line this season are from people with children overseas. For those people, it is a lonely time,” she said.

While previously this category used to be predominately white people, Harrison said now it goes right across the colour line.

“We also get a lot of stress- and tension-related calls for the exams, which come from unrealistic expectations and pressure put on children. It is usually … not isolated to only matriculants, but also university students and adults studying part time. But we do also get calls about alcohol and domestic abuse.”

Harrison advised people to use this family time to listen to each other and warned against the temptation to drink excessively.

“Alcohol abuse in South Africa is very high and people should take care. It leaves young women vulnerable and it can be very dangerous if they are out in the streets. Be careful and keep yourself safe.”

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