From day 1, here at HATW we’ve wanted to big up the Samaritans and the good work that they do.
I remember being at a really low point and my sister giving me their phone number – and I remember not ringing it because I didn’t think my problems were important enough. As time’s gone on, and I’ve met with a bunch of the wonderful people behind Samaritans, I’ve become determined to try and help others not find themselves in the same place as me; avoiding talking about what’s going on because they don’t feel “important enough”.
Another thing that might put you off is actually talking on the phone (cuz it’s 2019 and who actually calls anyone?). The good news there is that Samaritans also have a text service, an email service, heck they’ve even got a good ole fashioned post service, which you might find easier than actually speaking with someone.
But if you pick up the phone and ring 116 123 (for free, might I add!), what can you expect?
You’ll get to speak to someone outside of your situation
It’s an opportunity to speak to someone who’s not connected to you or your situation, so they’re not biased, and they’re not gonna talk to someone you know.
A volunteer will answer
If you phone them up, they’ll answer with something like “Samaritans, can I help you?”. It’s just another human being on the other end of the phone. You don’t have to give them your name if you don’t want to.
You talk, they’ll listen
They’ll listen to you, and help you talk through your concerns, worries, and troubles. That’s all there is to it. No judgement. You don’t need to tell them any specific details if you don’t want to. You can just vent if that’s what you need right now.
They give you the space to be yourself
They focus on your thoughts and feelings, and maybe ask questions to help you explore how you feel.
They won’t tell you what you should do
They’re there to listen to you and help you reach your own decision on what’s best for you. It’s not about their opinion or advice; it’s about you.
You can hang up whenever you like
Worried about how you sound? Just hang up. Feeling uncomfortable talking about it right now? Just hang up. Think you’ve got all you need from the chat? You can just hang up. And that’s ok.
It won’t appear on your phone bill
It’s free to call 116 123 – but even calling the number won’t show up on any phone statements etc. Ideal if someone else like your parent/guardian is paying your phone bill and you don’t want them to know you’ve been calling Samaritans.
As I’m sat writing this up, it sounds a bit too simple really. But that’s all there is to it. You call up another human being and you can just speak your mind, rant about what’s going on, and they won’t judge you, pressure you, or ask for any details you don’t want to give.
To me this seems like a smart idea if you’ve got something on your mind but you don’t want to talk to someone close to you, or you don’t want someone else bringing their problems up, or if you feel like you haven’t got anyone around you who’ll listen or get what you’re going through.
It’s worth a try.