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Just a phone call away

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