Samaritans Radar Update 14 November

"Following our announcement on 7 November to suspend Samaritans Radar, I would like to apologise for any stress caused to the users of Twitter. The intention behind the web based app was to give people a second chance to see a tweet from someone they know who might be struggling to cope. Samaritans has a long history of encouraging people to look out for one another and of finding innovative ways of encouraging people to talk about what is troubling them. However we need to think further about how we can take those principles and use them to help make the online environment safer for vulnerable people.

As a society we need to address the opportunities and challenges the online environment presents for supporting people and the role this work could play in ultimately reducing suicide. We've learned that we must consult even more widely than we have done in the development of Samaritans Radar and we will continue to respect and better understand the diversity of existing communities and users. To this end, we will be holding a series of consultation events as well as continuing to gather views via an online survey from as wide a range of people as possible.

I can also confirm that following the suspension of the web based app, we are ensuring that any data associated with the app will be deleted and we will be voluntarily responding to those individual requests concerning data in relation to the app.

It is also very important that our callers and anyone who might want to contact us knows that Samaritans provides a safe place where they can talk about whatever's getting to them. Our extraordinary volunteers are ordinary people, here round the clock, every single day, to listen whenever someone needs us. If you need to talk to us, please get in touch by calling 08457 90 90 90 (UK) 116 123 (ROI), emailing jo@samaritans.org, or visiting www.samaritans.org to find details of the nearest branch.”

Joe Ferns, Executive Director of Policy, Research and Development