Samaritans in Spain volunteers help expats unable to cope with the lockdown

Published:  15 Apr at 6 PM
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Carrying on a highly regarded tradition of giving help where it’s most needed, the Samaritans in Spain group is supporting expats who are having difficulty coping with the coronavirus lockdown.

The advent of the deadly virus in Spain has caused widespread stress and anxiety across the popular country’s expat communities, with one result an increase in the number of domestic violence reports. The Torrevieja-based Samaritans in Spain group’s Punta Marina centre is now closed down, but its dedicated volunteers are still doing all they can to help expats in distress in spite of the difficult circumstances.

The strain of being under a lockdown can affect expats in many ways, from loneliness and isolation through fear of not being able to get supplies or concerns over visas to the prospect of becoming infected and possibly dying due to the virus’s effect on existing conditions. The inability to rationalise these fears by sharing them with others in the same situation can cause stress-related physical conditions such as shortage of breath and panic attacks, adding even more stress to the lockdown experience. For those in unstable relationships, the buildup of tension can result in violent incidents, with victims unable to find a safe haven due to curfews and travel restrictions.

The Samaritans' message to those expatriates in distress for whatever reason is to forget about suffering in silence and call the group’s trained and experienced volunteers, with their help line open daily from 10.00am to 10pm. Calls to the helpline at 900 525 100 are taken in complete confidence, and those desperately needing help outside the hours given above can message the group’s WhatsApp service at 634 325 906 or send an email to [email protected].
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