Press release: Google and Samaritans: new search feature to help people looking online for information about suicide

From today, 11 November 2010, Samaritans’ helpline number and a highly visible telephone icon will be triggered when people search online in the UK for information related to suicide. The new feature – which has been tested successfully for the last 6 months in the US – helps connect people who are suicidal or in distress to the information they need to seek help and advice. Samaritans’ helpline number and the red telephone icon will appear above normal Google Search results when people use a number of search terms related to suicide.

Samaritans’ Chief Executive Catherine Johnstone said:
“We welcome this positive step by Google and we hope this new search tool that promotes Samaritans’ helpline details will encourage distressed or suicidal people to seek help from a safe source.

“The Internet is a rapidly expanding phenomenon that allows people to access huge amounts of information, much of which is helpful but some of which can occasionally be dangerous. It is therefore important that vulnerable and distressed people are steered towards safe places such as Samaritans.”

Google’s UK MD Matt Brittin said:
“People turn to the internet for information and advice all the time. We hope that by adding a highly visible link on searches relating to suicide, Google can help guide those who are vulnerable, distressed or suicidal to the renowned expertise and support service offered by Samaritans.”

For more information please contact Samaritans’ press office on 0208 394 8300 or email