Samaritans (charity)

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The Samaritans is a charity in the United Kingdom and Ireland.[1] They are a support group for those at risk of suicide.[1]

History[change | change source]

The Samaritans, was founded on November 5, 1953 by Chad Varah, a vicar. He started as a man "willing to listen". His approach was considered controversial at the time. "Everyone thought suicidal people were mad," he said.[2] "But they just needed to be listened to."[2] Today there are over 21,000 volunteers in 201 locations.[1] Varah retired from the Samaritans in 1986.[3]

Services[change | change source]

Sign promoting Samaritans near a payphone in the United Kingdom

A large amount of Samaritans' work is a telephone hotline, which is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They also offer a drop-in service for face-to-face discussion. Samaritans also offer confidential Email support. The Samaritans volunteers are trained in counselling skills, so they do not judge people.

Confidentiality[change | change source]

Samaritans have a strict code of confidentiality, even after the death of a caller. Unless the caller gives consent to pass on information, it will be broken only in rare circumstances.

International reach[change | change source]

Through its email service, Samaritans' work has extended well beyond the UK and Ireland, and Australia as messages are received from all around the world.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Emma Howard (18 December 2014). "Who are the Samaritans? Volunteers share their stories with us". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Jane Fryer (9 November 2007). "Chad Varah, Britain's oldest sex therapist and founder of the Samaritans, dies aged 95". Daily Mail. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  3. Adam Bernstein (15 November 2007). "The Rev. Chad Varah, 95; founded Samaritans movement". Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC. Retrieved 26 April 2016.