Think Samaritans

Think Samaritans

At Samaritans, we want to make sure that it’s as easy as possible for people to access emotional support if they are going through a difficult time. That’s why we work in partnership with healthcare services.

Think Samaritans: working with the NHS to support people who are struggling to cope

Funded by the Department of Health, Think Samaritans is a three-year project that involves setting up partnerships between Samaritans and the NHS in England. We know that the NHS is under huge and increasing pressure to provide high quality clinical care and that practitioners don’t always have the time they would like to support their patients emotionally. Our partnerships mean that when someone is in distress, NHS staff can Think Samaritans and make sure that the individual gets the emotional support they need.

What do Samaritans do?

The support that we offer through partnerships is entirely complementary to the care that the NHS provides; we are not aiming to deliver a service that is already delivered by the NHS. Instead, we are working with the NHS to make sure that those most in need of emotional support are able to access it, when they need it.

From September 2017 to March 2019, we will be piloting the following three partnership models in certain areas of England:

  • Emergency department (A&E) partnerships
    A&E partnerships involve Samaritans volunteers offering face-to-face support to anyone who might need it within the emergency department.
  • Mental health team partnerships
    Mental health team partnerships mean that mental health professionals can directly refer people to Samaritans, with their consent. Samaritans will then give the person a call at a time that suits them to offer support.
  • GP surgery partnerships
    GP surgery partnerships mean that GPs and other practice staff can directly refer people to Samaritans, with their consent. Samaritans will then give the person a call at a time that suits them to offer support.

We have commissioned an external research partner to evaluate these pilots so that we can really understand the outcomes that they achieve for people who we support, for the NHS, and for Samaritans.

If you would like to find out more about our work with the NHS, please contact partnerships@samaritans.org.