What happens when you contact us varies slightly depending on whether you call, email, text, write or talk to us face-to-face. But our approach to supporting you stays the same, however, there is no script, and no two conversations are the same, but they usually have similar elements.
A fully trained volunteer will always answer. If you phone us, we answer with something like ‘Samaritans, can I help you?’ With text, email, letter and face-to-face visits, how we respond to you depends on what you say.
Putting you at ease It takes a lot of courage to ask for help. It can be difficult to talk about what’s troubling you. It’s fine to take your time and start wherever you need to. Saying it out loud or writing it down for the first time can be the first step to confronting the issue.
You talk, we listen We listen to you and help you talk through your concerns, worries and troubles. We’ll focus on your thoughts and feelings rather than going into the details of what’s happened. We may ask you some questions to help you explore how you feel. Sometimes people need to cry or show how angry they are at life, or go over their thoughts and feelings several times to make sense of them, and that’s fine.
It’s not about us We won’t talk about ourselves, even if you ask us to. We’re there to give you time, space and support – you don’t need to ask how we are, or give us time in return. We don’t impose any personal attitudes or beliefs on you. We’re not religious and we’re completely independent. They allow you to sensitively discuss your options and explore your own feelings, helping you to find an inner strength that lets you find your own way forward rather than offering practical advice. You’re best placed to solve your problems. Sometimes, you need support to rationalise your thinking and make clear judgements.
A new way of talking. It can feel unfamiliar when we focus all our attention on listening to you. It’s not quite like a normal conversation, but give it a try. The call is about you, after all.
Helping you explore your options We won’t give you advice or opinions. We’ll help you talk through your problems and you may begin to see things more clearly. When you’re ready, we can help you think about what you could do and what the options are. We’ll support you to decide what’s best for you.
We won’t tell you what you should do. We won’t make decisions for you, and we won’t tell you what we think about the decisions you choose to make. You are the expert on your own life.
Information on other sources of help. We focus on exploring your feelings. Sometimes people also need advice on a specific kind of problem. If you want us to, while we’re talking, we may be able to give you contact details for organisations that specialise in helping with a problem you may have.
Suicidal feelings You don’t need to be suicidal to contact us, but if you are feeling suicidal, sharing how you feel could help. We aim to explore suicidal feelings with everyone who contacts us. Most people who contact us are not suicidal. By asking the question, we’re just giving you the space to talk about these feelings if you want to.
Ending the conversation You can end the conversation when you’re ready to. Sometimes phone conversations last about an hour, but some are much shorter.
Same support from all volunteers Generally you will speak to a different volunteer each time you call, email or visit. Our priority is to make sure you get support from someone as quickly as possible, so however you contact us, whoever is available will respond to you.
Telephone anytime day or night 365days a year 902 88 35 35 or email email@example.com
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