About the call
Our trained volunteers are able to listen to you any time day or night. We can help you talk through whatever is troubling you, find the answers that are right for you, and offer support.
You don’t have to give your real name or any personal information if you don’t want to.
How quickly we’ll respond
When you call us, if your nearest branch is busy you will be re-routed to the next nearest branch to you, and so on, until you get an available line. This is so we can try to prevent you ever getting an engaged tone.
Of course we aim for everyone to get through to someone straight away, but we can’t always guarantee that as it depends on the number of volunteers we have on the phones at that time. But 8 out of 9 calls are answered first time.
We know it's difficult
It takes a lot of courage to ask for help. It can be difficult to talk about what’s troubling you.
Saying it out loud or writing it down for the first time can be an important step in confronting whatever is troubling you.
It’s fine to take your time and start wherever you need to.
Phone conversations can last as long as you need them to. It doesn't matter.
Same support from all volunteers
Generally you will speak to a different volunteer each time you call.
Our priority is to make sure you get support from someone as quickly as possible, so we'll find the first available volunteer.
Ensuring your privacy
When you call Samaritans, your number is not displayed to our volunteer.
The phones we use don’t have caller display information on them.
Why does my landline phone restrict calls to Samaritans’ 116 123?
We have had confirmation from all UK mobile phone networks and telephone providers that Samaritans’ 116 123 number is available and free to call from landline and mobile phones.
However, some offices, organisations and care homes have restrictions on the types of numbers that can be dialled; something which is outside of our control. This means that if you try to dial an unusual number, such as 116 123, from an office phone, you might get a busy tone or message saying that it is an unrecognised number.
How do I call Samaritans if my phone is restricted?
If you’re unable to change the settings of your phone system so that Samaritans’ 116 123 number can be dialled, you can also call 116 123 for free from any UK mobile. Another option is to call your local Samaritans branch instead (local call charges will apply). You can find the telephone number of your nearest Samaritans branch here.
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We know our service can help people before it's too late.