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One life lost is one too many

This year, that time and space to talk to someone has been more important than ever before. Despite the challenges, we kept our helpline running day and night for anyone struggling to cope.

Mental health at work matters. Through our partnership under the healthy pillar, we have reached over 25,000 people with the Wellbeing in the Workplace tool, an online training in which businesses upskill their employees in having conversations about mental health.

Samaritans: The impact of our work

Samaritans

Life-saving work, made possible

  • 140,000

    The number of times the specialist online support pages were accessed during lockdown

  • 1 Million

    The number of hours Samaritans volunteers spend answering for calls for help every year

  • 20,000

    The number of Samaritans volunteers across the UK and Ireland

How does it work?

One life lost is one too many

“I became a Samaritans volunteer at the beginning of the year. I’ve really learnt how to be an empathetic listener. To truly listen to people.”

Tara is a volunteer at London City Hub. She has shared her experience of becoming a Samaritans volunteer in 2020, and of providing support through Samaritans’ new online chat service at the newly opened London City Hub.

My company work in partnership with Samaritans and they helped to support the launch of the new London City Hub. It’s been a really amazing experience to be one of the first Samaritans volunteers to offer the online chat service from London City Hub. Samaritans has never done this before and it’s completely new.

It’s been really exciting to be part of that journey to help build this with them and it’s going to be vital for the future.

"Having the opportunity to reach out and contact a stranger, someone that can listen and help them talk through those feelings is really important for mental health.

For young people in particular it’s been more important than ever to have access to the new online chat service.

To have the privacy to talk to someone, and have them listen has been so important for them, and we’ve certainly seen that reflected in some of the chats that we’ve seen as well.

Their world has suddenly become a lot smaller which can be very tough to deal with and I think having the opportunity to reach out and contact a stranger, someone that can listen and help them talk through those feelings is really important for their mental health.

As people embrace technology more, as living situations change and with people in a more closed environment with more limited options, to be part of building this and supporting the charity through it is fantastic. It’s also a really enjoyable experience and you really feel like you’re giving something back, at such an important time to do so.”

Get involved: Donate to the Appeal

  • 645,000

    The number of times we provided emotional support in the first fourteen weeks of lockdown alone

  • 201

    The number of Samaritans branches in the UK and Ireland

  • 24/7

    The hours we kept our helpline services running, even as we faced our biggest ever challenge with coronavirus.

Steve’s story: read the case study

Steve’s story

"Suicide is like a shockwave that spreads through the whole family and we still don’t know why it happened.

In 2010, Steve’s 19-year-old stepson took his own life, leaving the family devastated and struggling to cope. Steve became a volunteer five years ago, as he wanted to be able to help others that may be struggling.

In 2010, we were left completely devastated and it was so far reaching, it’s not a feeling you can explain. Suicide is like a shockwave that spreads through the whole family and we still don’t know why it happened.

As soon as I got home, I emailed Samaritans. Within six weeks I was already part way through the training.

My relationship with his mum broke down for four or five years as a result, as we couldn’t cope with what had happened. We kept in touch because of the kids and managed to rebuild what we had and we’re really strong now. What we’ve been through is what led us both to become volunteers with Samaritans. We went to a suicide prevention conference together and found it really engaging.

As soon as I got home, I emailed Samaritans. Within six weeks I was already part way through the training. That was five years ago and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. You have a different level of empathy for people calling up that have lost loved ones to suicide when you’ve experienced it yourself. It’s helped me become a really good listener, which is the most important thing.”

Get Involved

With your support, we can make an unprecedented change to help one million people thrive.

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