Talk to us on the phone Pilot

This is a new service. For urgent support please call 116 123.

Whatever you're going through, call us free any time, from any phone, on 116 123.

We also have a Welsh language line (Llinell Cymraeg) Find out more

What happens when you call us?

A volunteer will answer

If you phone us, we will answer with something like "Samaritans, can I help you?"

You talk, we listen

We listen to you and help you talk through your concerns, worries and troubles.

We give you space to be yourself

We'll focus on your thoughts and feelings, and may ask questions to help you explore how you feel.

We won't tell you what you should do

We won't make decisions for you, our advice or opinions are not important for the call.

We offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you.

We won't judge you or tell you what to do, we'll listen to you.

More about our listening service


On the phone

This number is free to call from both landlines and mobiles, including pay-as-you-go mobiles. You do not need to have any credit or call allowance on your plan to call 116 123.

Via email

Emailing us on [email protected] is free.

In person

Visiting us face-to-face in your local branch is free.

By letter

Yes. But please make sure you include first line of our address to make sure your letter gets to us for free..


Yes, except for in certain situations where our safeguarding policy means we may tell someone, for example, by calling an ambulance. Read more about when we do this.

On the phone

When you call Samaritans, your number is not displayed to our volunteer. The phones we use don’t have caller display information on them.

We might ask your name, because it’s a natural question to ask in a conversation, or because of something you have said to us, but you don’t have to tell us if you prefer not to.

Via email

If you've emailed us, your email address will not be shown to the volunteer.

In person

You don’t have to tell us your name if you don’t want to. In the unlikely event that you see the Samaritan volunteer that you spoke to later on the street, the Samaritans volunteer will not acknowledge you, unless you do so first. This is to respect your privacy and the confidentiality of your visit, unless you wish to recognise it.

By Letter

We will need your name and address to reply, but to maintain confidentiality, your letter will be shredded once we have sent you our response.

On the phone

When you call us on 116 123, you will be put through to a volunteer at one of more than 200 branches and locations across the UK and Ireland.

We aim for everyone to get through to someone straight away, but sometimes this is not always possible as it depends on the number of volunteers we have on the phones at that time.

The number also won’t come up on your phone bill.

Via email

When you email us at [email protected], we aim to respond within 24 hours.

In person

You can check our branches opening times here. It can be helpful to call ahead and arrange a time to come in.

By letter

When you write us a letter we aim to respond within 7 days.

People contact us with all sorts of concerns and what might be a small issue to you may be huge to someone else.

You could be going through something new or have been struggling to cope for some time, either way, we're here if you feel you need some extra support.

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

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
  • thoughts of suicide

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 advice, we may be able to give you contact details for organisations that specialise in helping with specific problems and situations.

Are Samaritans religious?

We’re not religious. The link between our name and any religious text is completely coincidental.

Our listeners will never impose any personal attitudes or beliefs on you.

What if I'm d/Deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impediment?

Callers who are d/Deaf or who have hearing or speech impairments can contact us for support by email by using [email protected] or by using the Next Generation Text (NGT) service.

Next Generation Text is not specific to Samaritans and can be used on any telephone number. You can contact Samaritans in this way using your local branch telephone number.

What if I’m under 18?

You can still get in touch with us. We’re here for you, whatever your age. Our first responsibility is to you, not your parents or guardian.

You can talk to us about whatever is on your mind, we’ll listen. This might include how you look, problems at school or college, how people are treating you, and worries about exams or money.

What if I have mental health issues?

You can still get in touch with us. We provide the same support to people with mental health issues as we do for anyone else.

If you have a mental health diagnosis, you can talk about it with us, or you may want to talk to us about something else that’s troubling you, and that’s fine too.

We know that people with the same diagnosis may have very different experiences. We’ll explore what living with your mental health issue means for you. Your experience is the most important thing to us, not the label.

Because our volunteers aren’t trained mental health professionals, when you talk about your diagnosis or medication, we may not always be familiar with the medical terms.

Shouldn’t I talk to friends and family instead?

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 and we won't judge or insist on giving advice.

Calling from some landlines

All UK mobile phone networks and telephone providers have confirmed to us that Samaritans’ 116 123 number is available and free to call from landlines and mobiles.

However, some offices, organisations and care homes have restrictions on the types of numbers that can be dialled; this means that if you try call us from an office phone, you might get a busy tone or message saying that it is an unrecognised number.

If you’re unable to change the settings of your phone system, you can also call 116 123 for free from any UK mobile. Another option is to call 0330 094 5717 (local call charges will apply and will appear on your bill).

Has Samaritans’ UK helpline number changed?

Yes, in September 2015, we launched a our new UK helpline number, 116 123. (It replaces our old UK helpline number, 08457 90 90 90.) Our listening service is exactly the same.

Find the service that's right for you...

Call us

Whatever you're going through, call us free any time, from any phone, on 116 123.


  • Free
  • One-to-one
  • Open 24 hours a day

Maybe not if...

  • You have patchy phone signal
  • You prefer to write things down
  • You're looking for advice

Visit a branch

Speak to a Samaritan face-to-face


  • Meet face-to-face
  • Safe branch environment
  • Branches all around the UK and ROI

Maybe not if...

  • You need urgent support right now
  • You need support outside opening hours
  • You prefer to stay anonymous

Write a letter

Sometimes writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you better understand them.


  • Free
  • Time to compose your thoughts
  • Time to reflect between letters

Maybe not if...

  • You need urgent support right now
  • You have no fixed address
  • It's hard for you to post a letter

Write to us


Write to us Freepost SAMARITANS LETTERS, , ,
Find out more

Email us

Sometimes writing things down and taking some time to reflect can help you understand them better.


  • Time to compose your thoughts
  • No need to respond right away
  • Work things through over time

Maybe not if...

  • You need urgent support right now
  • You want to talk things through in one go
  • You want to speak to the same person throughout

[email protected]

Response time: It may take several days to get a response by email

[email protected] Response time: It may take several days to get a response by email
Find out more

Welsh language

If you would like emotional support in Welsh, we have a Welsh Language Line which is free to call. We also have a letter writing service in Welsh.