What to speak to us about

Sometimes what you’d really like is someone just to listen without judging you.

Maybe then you’d figure out the answer yourself, or at least have got a load off your mind. That’s what we’re here for.

No matter what time it is or how big or small the problem is or how daft I feel about panicking, they listened and cared

What can I speak to you about?

There’s no typical problem that people talk to us about. You can talk to us anything that’s making you feel bad.

Sometimes people call us because they are struggling to cope with a single problem that they have.

More often, people contact us because a number of problems have mounted up and they’re finding it hard to cope.

What matters to us is how your life is making you feel.

Our services (the phone lines, emails, letters and in branch) are manned by everyday people who volunteer for Samaritans. They’ve been through months of thorough training to qualify as a Samaritan, so they really know what they’re doing, and how best to help you, no matter what the issue is.

We are there to support you through all kinds of situations feelings and thoughts. What one person can take head on, may lead another person to struggle to cope.

You don’t have to be feeling suicidal to get in touch. Only I in 5 people who call us feel suicidal at the time. 

Sometimes just one call or email is not enough – and it doesn’t have to be. You can contact us as often as you need to. We are always here.

Shouldn’t I talk to friends and family instead?

It can be easier to talk to someone who doesn’t know you, won’t judge you or tell you what to do.

Some people do not have the support of friends or family. Others do have friends or family to talk to, but find that talking to someone neutral can also be beneficial.

We keep our conversations private, so we can't pass the information you give us onto anyone else you know, and we won't let our personal opinions influence the conversation, or insist on giving advice that you wouldn't wish to follow.

The kind of issues we support people through

There is no typical reason someone might call us, just as there is no typical person who contacts Samaritans.

A small issue to you might be a huge issue to someone else. Or it could be something that you’ve been struggling to cope with for some time, but has reached a point where you need some extra support. You have nothing to lose by talking to us.

And you don’t need to be feeling suicidal.

At Samaritans, all calls are confidential and we don’t keep detailed records about why people call Samaritans, but some common reasons people contact us are:

  • relationship and family problems
  • loss, including loss of a friend or a family member through bereavement
  • financial worries
  • job-related stress
  • college or study-related stress
  • loneliness and isolation
  • depression
  • painful and/or disabling physical illness
  • heavy use of or dependency on alcohol or other drugs
  • history of earlier suicide attempts or self-harming
  • history of suicide in the family

If what’s getting to you isn’t on this list, please still get in touch.

Related information