Worried about someone?
We’ll talk to them. Central London Samaritans offers free emotional support whatever the time, day or night.
We are available 24/7 to listen without judgement and in complete confidence. When a person feels at their most desperate, lonely or suicidal, we give them the time to talk through their options and express their feelings in their own way.
If you’re worried about a patient/client, that you think would benefit from talking, we can call them. We also offer support in different languages and can arrange for a Samaritan to call your patient/client in their own language. For a full list of languages available, click here.
“There are very few places you can go to in the world where you can pick up a telephone and another human being, no matter why they’re doing it, will listen to you unconditionally. If you want to pour your heart out in a phonecall, they will listen for as long as you need them to.”
- Samaritans caller
How we can help you
Samaritans can offer you a simple, free partnership, giving you peace of mind that your patients/clients can be supported emotionally 24 hours a day whenever they need it most. We can provide:
- A complementary service to your own to help you support your patients/clients, and offer them more choice. We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide support when other services may be closed.
- An easy referral process. Working with us is as simple as possible, with no complex legal contracts or transfer of care. There is minimal paperwork, and no lengthy rules or regulations.
- Promotional literature for your staff and patients/clients, to help make them more aware of our emotional support.
- Extensive experience in providing emotional support. As the leading national helpline for emotional support, we’ve been helping people in distress since 1953, and our volunteers undergo a rigorous selection and training process. We are contacted more than five million times a year. That’s one every six seconds.
“In my practice I regularly give contact details of Samaritans to patients and their carers. I am well aware that patients may wish to talk to someone about their difficulties and receive emotional support with the total confidentiality that they are aware I cannot guarantee because of my medical responsibility.
“Patients have told me that it has helped them to know that they can receive emotional support and human contact from Samaritans 24/7, in a way which is complementary to the input from statutory agencies.”
- Elaine Edmunds, Consultant Psychaitrist
How to make a referral
Explain to your patient/client about Samaritans’ emotional support. Some patients/clients may prefer to contact Samaritans themselves, in which case give them our number (020 7734 2800) or a Samaritans wallet card to take away with them.
If your patient/client would like us to call them instead, please check the following information with them before calling us on 020 7734 2800 on their behalf:
- Preferred name and contact phone number(s)
- Preferred language (see our website www.cls.org.uk)
- Preferred time of day to receive a call
- Make sure their phone receives withheld calls
- Let them know that if the call is answered by someone else, we will not leave a message
We will make three attempts to contact your patient/client. At the time of calling you can request to be informed whether contact has been made with your patient/client. We will never divulge the content of calls or future contact.
“…as a patient I remember wishing someone would just have time to ask how scared and emotional I felt…”
- Samaritans caller
FAQs about Samaritans
Below are some common questions about Samaritans.
What evidence is there that Samaritans’ helpline works?
An independent study by Nottingham University found that 85% of people who used our service would use it again, 71% rated it ‘excellent’ or ‘good’, and most felt better after contacting us. Numerous personal testimonies also support our belief that provising a space for people to explore their feelings can help them through whatever is troubling them.
What qualifies Samaritans volunteers to help my patients/clients?
Each volunteer undergoes a highly respected, tailored selection and training process which takes up to 12 months to complete, and is assigned a more experienced mentor during this time. They also attend additional training each year to ensure our service is of the highest quality. Our volunteers are not experts in any specialist area, but have a high level of ability for empathy, human contact, listening, acceptance, unconditional regard, and respecting anonymity and confidentiality.
Isn’t Samaritans only for suicidal people?
No – around 80% of the people who contact us do not express suicidal feelings. We are here for anyone feeling distressed or struggling to cope.
What do people talk to you about?
A wide range of subjects, including depression, relationship and family concerns, loneliness, physical and mental health issues, alcohol, drugs, self-harm, illness and exam pressures as well as suicidal thoughts and feelings.
Isn’t Samaritans a religious organisation?
No, we’re not religious in any way, though we were founded by Dr Chad Varah, who was a priest, in 1953.
Samaritans has an unparalleled reputation for providing confidential emotional support to people who are struggling to cope. For more information about our service of if you have further questions about our referral service, please contact 020 7734 2800.
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