What happens when you contact us

Although many times on the phone I hang up before I say anything, sometimes even hearing a supportive voice can give you that little bit of strength to keep going.

What happens when you contact us varies slightly depending on whether you call, email, text, write or talk to us face-to-face. But our approach to supporting you stays the same.

Personal experiences of contacting Samaritans.

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

One of the questions we'll ask might be about whether you're suicidal. By asking the question, we’re just giving you the space to talk about these feelings if you want to.

Most people who contact us are not suicidal.

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.

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 and any religious beliefs is completely accidental.

3. Ending the conversation

You can end the conversation when you’re ready to.

There's no limit on how many times you can get in touch. 

 

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