The Samaritans

The Samaritans are a charity, founded in 1953, which exists to provide confidential emotional support to any person, who is suicidal or despairing; and to increase public awareness of issues around suicide and depression.

Trained volunteers provide this service 24 hours every day. It is free. You are guaranteed absolute confidentiality and that you will not be judged.

Samaritan volunteers are not professional counselors or psychotherapists. They are caring volunteers who have been trained in the art of listening and empathy.

You can talk to a trained Samaritan volunteer by e-mail. This is a free service. The Samaritans answer e-mail daily. E-mail messages are answered by trained volunteers, all of whom use the pseudonym Jo. In 2002 alone, Samaritan volunteers responded to e-mail from more than 100,000 persons.

You can visit a Samaritans branch in person where one is available, or call phone numbers worldwide, most of which are toll-free. The Samaritans maintain a website listing centers and telephone helplines around the world. As of this writing, 50 countries were listed, and the website is available in 15 languages.