Samaritans? Most people have probably heard of them “they talk people out of suicide don’t they?” Or “aren’t they something to do with the Good Samaritan story?” People know the name – but what do they do?

What carefully selected and trained Samaritan volunteers actually do is offer emotional support, 24 hours a day, for people who are having difficulty coping, and who may even feel they can’t go on. What people say to Samaritans is confidential and no one is judged. As well as telephone calls, emails, texts, letters and face to face visits are welcomed.

Samaritans are there when the world is a scary place, when sleep seems impossible and worrying thoughts are churning round. They’re there when the stress of everyday life is too much, whether its exams, financial problems, relationships or health worries causing anxiety. What one person can shrug off might be the last straw for another, and often it’s a combination of problems that make everything seem so unbearable.

Last year the Exeter branch of Samaritans (covering Exeter, Mid and East Devon) received a staggering 38,670 contacts. That’s an enormous number of people who need someone to listen to them. They were not all suicidal by any means, but Samaritans were there for them; they believe that giving people the time and space to explore their feelings helps reduce emotional distress.

So at three in the morning, when the world seems a bleak place, Samaritans are at the end of the line – Samaritans 08457 909090, or for more contact details see our website: www.samaritans.org

Mel Back