At Samaritans we receive around 5 million calls for help per year and every 52 seconds we hear from someone who is feeling suicidal.
Our volunteers are on hand to offer emotional support any time of the day or night to anyone who needs our help, whether they feel suicidal or not.
People make contact with Samaritans for many different reasons. There is no typical reason that someone might call, just as there’s no typical person who contacts the Samaritans.
Most people choose to make a phone call to us, using our free phone number – 116 123.
Ian (not his real name) called the Samaritans when he was struggling with the demands of a highly stressful job. Ian owned a business and had started to work non-stop, believing his business wouldn’t survive if he wasn’t there every waking hour. He explained that he was becoming highly anxious and it was beginning to affect not only his health, but also his relationships. He reached the point when he felt he simply couldn’t go on and expressed that there was no point in his existence.
‘This was when I first called the Samaritans. Speaking to them really helped me to put my thoughts in order and gave me the reassurance I needed that I wasn’t going mad. I called a number of times and began to realise the importance of living your life and seeing the bigger picture’.
Grace, (not her real name) chose to visit the local branch after the death of her husband. She was experiencing a really difficult time and felt her heart had been broken. Grace explained that although she had friends and family, she wanted to talk to someone she could be totally honest with.
‘The volunteer I spoke to in the branch was so kind, and within ten minutes I felt completely comfortable. He let me talk and never once tried to tell me what to do. It was such a comfort to me at such a dark time’.
Samaritans are not only available at the end of the phone or via a face to face visit. They also answer around 8800 emails a month
Debbie (not her real name) was a university student who was struggling with depression. She noticed changes in the way she felt during her second year and her mood sank lower and lower until she felt she couldn’t cope with the pressure. Debbie found it hard to talk to her family as they had very high expectations of her and after a period of not being able to sleep, along with severe night time anxiety, a friend encouraged her to try emailing the Samaritans.
“The Samaritans were there for me in the dead of night when I was at my lowest. I felt I had no-one to turn to for support and when I first emailed the Samaritans it felt so reassuring to get a real reply from someone who cared how I felt.”
Although these examples give a flavour of different people who turn to Samaritans for support, people contact us for all sorts of reasons.
Samaritans offer round the clock support for anyone who’s struggling, whoever they are, however they’re feeling, and whatever life has done to them.