Samaritans welcomes PM statements on World Mental Health Day

Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland, responds to Government’s funding announcement to support the helpline and welcomes the appointment of a Minister for Suicide Prevention.

Ruth said: “We’re incredibly pleased that the Government has announced that it will help fund Samaritans’ helpline. Samaritans is a charity and the majority of the service is funded by public donations. This new funding will meet around 10 per cent of the total helpline costs for the next four years. This will help us make sure our life-saving service is always there for anyone who is struggling to cope.

“Our helpline is free to call from any phone; people can also get in touch via email and receive support from our volunteers face to face at branches.

“In addition, Samaritans volunteers go out into their local communities, into schools, hospitals, GP surgeries, workplaces, prisons and universities and work in partnership with local councils and on the rail network to help prevent suicide.  

"We are particularly pleased that the Government has announced today that it will be introducing mental health lessons in schools. Samaritans believes that learning to deal with your emotions is as important as learning to read and write. We therefore welcome this announcement and look forward to seeing details of it. We hope that they will be rolled out to every child in good time and are accompanied by an evidence-based, comprehensive syllabus." 

“The Government has shown its commitment to preventing suicide through helping to fund our helpline, and by also announcing today that health minister Jackie Doyle-Price's responsibility for suicide prevention will be formalised. But every death through suicide is a tragedy and we now need to see funding for local services to prevent the unnecessary deaths we still see far too often."

For further information, please contact or 020 8394 8300.

Notes to editors:

  • Samaritans responds to more than 5 million calls for help every year, offering emotional support by phone, email, text and face to face in its 201 branches across the UK and Republic of Ireland.
  • Anyone can contact Samaritans for FREE any time from any phone on 116 123. This number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or you can email or visit to find details of your nearest branch.
  • Samaritans is a charity and it’s the public’s kind donations and more than 20,000 volunteers that mean we are always there for anyone struggling to cope. Find out how you can support us at