Monday 24th July is 24/7 Samaritan’s Awareness Day.
This day aims to raise awareness of the services that the Samaritans offer around the UK and Ireland.
The Samaritans offer a wide range of support, some of which you may not know about. In fact, you may not have heard about the Samaritans much at all, despite their significant impacts for many years.
The organisation now has 201 branches around the UK and Ireland, which are available to help people in need 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It began in 1953, when Chad Varah wanted to help people that were in trouble, when they had one else to turn to.
The Samaritans went on to become the first telephone support service for people in need, more that 60 years ago, aiming to help them before it was too late. He called it the “999 for the suicidal,” regarding himself as a “a man willing to listen, with a base and an emergency telephone.”
It is not a service based upon religion, it is based upon listening, a ‘safe space’ and providing support at a critical time that is non-judgemental.
The vision of the Samaritans is that ‘fewer people die by suicide’. They are aiming for this by providing 24/7 support, reaching out to at risk groups, and raising the level of public education around suicide and suicide prevention. They are committed to listening in confidence to those in need. The support that the provide is non-judgmental, and enables people to make their own decisions where possible. And they are committed to trying to meet fundamental human emotional needs and to reduce despair by giving connection, undivided attention, time and empathy.
And at the heart of this extensive service are the volunteers as it is a volunteer-led organisation. They support people, as well as carry out outreach programs, fundraising activities and many other roles.
If you feel like you need help, or are concerned someone you know does, contact the Samaritans or any healthcare professionals such as us at Cognacity. If you’d like to become involved as a volunteer, information regarding this can also be found on the details below. For more information, see www.samaritans.org or #samaritansawarenessday. The Samaritans can be contacted on email@example.com or 020 8394 8300.