Samaritans began in 1953 in London, founded by a vicar called Chad Varah. Throughout his career Chad had offered counselling to his parishioners, and wanted to do something more specific to help people struggling to cope and possibly contemplating suicide.
The need for our support is growing all the time. In 2017, we responded to 5.4 million calls for help. Three times more people die by suicide than are killed in road accidents in the UK.
As you may know, the human tragedy of suicide affects so many more lives than just the one that has been lost. For every person who takes their own life, there are friends, partners, children, relatives, carers and colleagues left behind. It is estimated that the average number of people affected by a suicide can range from six to over sixty. Any of these affected people may need us, too.
Thanks to your gift in your Will, we can continue to provide a unique 24 hour listening service across the UK and Ireland offering emotional support. With your help, we’ll be able to utilise the latest technology to ensure people can reach us however they feel most comfortable – for young people, social media and email are becoming increasingly important. Whatever the future brings, you can help to ensure we will always be there to listen.
My youngest daughter Emily* tried to take her own life when she was in her twenties. She had suffered with depression for some time, and found it difficult to deal with her thoughts and feelings.
I can’t begin to describe how painful it is to see your child feel this helpless. When things were particularly difficult for Emily, she turned to Samaritans for support. She found it difficult opening up to anyone who was close to her, and Samaritans gave her that safe space she needed to talk about how she was feeling.
After speaking to Samaritans, life became better for Emily. She is working through her problems and talks to me and her dad if things are starting to get on top of her.
I will always be grateful to Samaritans, and by leaving a gift in my Will I can help them be there for more people like my daughter.
*Names have been changed to protect identity