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Calling the Samaritans - a walk through

Samaritans provides confidential non-judgemental emotional support, 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide. Their volunteers have heard many people's stories and you or your friend can discuss anything you / they want with them in complete confidence. The Samaritans are often contacted by those who feel they cannot talk to anyone else - either because they don't have someone they trust, because they do not want to worry those around them, or because they need to just talk things through to find the courage to take other decisions.

Many people feel pressured into hiding their feelings out of embarrassment or concern not to burden family or friends. But hiding under a calm exterior only saves the problem for later and stress can build up until it becomes unbearable. Don't leave it that long. Realising things are not as good as they could, or should be is a first step to doing something about it. If you / your friend are feeling this way right now, please talk to someone about it. Talking openly about how you / they really feel can be like opening a door. Talking puts you / them back in control and reveals the choices you / they have.  Whilst it may not be possible to solve all the problems you are facing, you / they can find things to help you look after yourself day to day.

Whatever you / they're going through, whether it's big or small, don't bottle it up.  Samaritans are there for you / them if you / they're worried about something, feel upset or confused, or just want to talk to someone.  Samaritans offer their service by telephone, email, letter and face to face. Telephoning Samaritans costs the price of a local call, or you / your friend can email for free. SMS messages are charged at your / your friend's standard network tariff. Most branches offer a drop-in service for anyone who wants to speak to a Samaritans volunteer face to face and although you / your friend don't need to make an appointment, it's always best to ring the branch beforehand to make sure they're free.

Why contact Samaritans?

One Samaritans caller has said:

"There's very few places you can go to in the world where you can pick up a telephone and another human being, no matter why they're doing it, will listen to you unconditionally. If you want to pour out in a phonecall, they will listen for hours."

Samaritans doesn't offer advice, but by encouraging people who contact us to talk about their feelings they are able to help them explore all the options they have. Samaritans believes that given the time and space to work problems or difficulties through in confidence, people can find an inner strength and perspective, which lets them find their own way forward.

Samaritans volunteers are all carefully trained so that they do not try and impose any of their own beliefs to influence you / your friend, and do not presume to be in a position to tell you / your friend what to do, because what works for one person might not work for another.

The service is entirely confidential. You / your friend do not have to use your / their real name, nor give Samaritans any personal details, if that helps you / them to feel comfortable. No telephone in a branch of Samaritans can display the incoming call number, and if you / they choose to send an email your / their email address is hidden from the volunteer. No calls are recorded.

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