What happens when you contact us
1. A volunteer will always answer
If you phone us, we answer with something like ‘Samaritans, can I help you?’. How the phone service works
With text, email, letter and face-to-face visits, how we respond to you depends on what you say.
2. You talk, we listen
We listen to you and help you talk through your concerns, worries and troubles.
We’ll focus on your thoughts and feelings rather than going into the details, so we may ask questions to help explore how you feel.
Most people aren't suicidal
Most people who contact us are not suicidal. When you talk to us, we will give you an opportunity to talk about any thoughts or feelings you have, whatever they may be.
How does focusing on feelings help?
You'll be able to see things more clearly. You'll be able to think much more clearly about what your options are.
Sometimes people need to cry or show how angry they are at life, or go over their thoughts and feelings several times to make sense of them, and that’s fine. We're there for as long as you need us.
Sometimes even hearing a supportive voice can give you that little bit of strength to keep going.
We won’t tell you what you should do.
We won’t make decisions for you, and we'll support the decisions you make.
You are the expert on your own life. Our advice or opinions are not important.
If you want specific advice, we may be able to give you contact details for organisations that specialise in helping with a problem you may have.
They allow you to sensitively discuss your options and explore your own feelings.
You’re best placed to solve your problems.
It’s not about us
We won’t talk about ourselves, even if you ask us to. We’re there to give you time, space and support – you don’t need to ask how we are, or give us time in return.
We don’t impose any personal attitudes or beliefs on you. We’re not religious. The link between our name and any religious text is completely coincidental.
3. Ending the conversation
You can end the conversation when you’re ready to.