The charity is launched a campaign to promote its round-the clock emotional support services.
Volunteers with a leading mental health and emotional support charity are reaching out to those struggling to cope, urging them to use the support that is on offer.
Amid a time of uncertainty and a cost-of-living crisis, Samartians - which aims to reduce instances of suicide and self-harm - is highlighting the power of talking as part its Talk to Us awareness campaign.
The charity’s 19 branches in Scotland – as well as those from across the UK and Ireland – will mark Samaritans Awareness Day on Sunday, July 24, and spread the message that trained listening volunteers can be reached 24/7, every day of the year.
The charity offers a range of services, with volunteers available on the Samaritans free phone line, as well as by email and post.
“Talking can really help,” said Claire, a listening volunteer from Samaritans’ Aberdeen branch. “It helps lots of people. Samaritans gets lots of calls from people who are struggling to cope. And it can really give you the space to clear your mind, talk everything through that’s bothering you.
“It’s a safe space and available to anyone any time. Samaritans are here to listen. And it can only help, so I would really consider it.
“Samaritans is an easy place to reach out to. It's free to call. If calling seems like too much of an effort or too difficult, you can always reach out by letter or email, and you’ll get a response. Samaritans is a safe and confident place. Volunteers are trained to listen without judgment, without pressure. So, you’re in safe hands.”
Every ten seconds, Samaritans responds to a call for help. Last year, over 1,000 volunteers based in Scotland answered 160,000 calls, spending a total of 36,000 hours on the phone.
Claire, from Samaritans Edinburgh and the Lothians, added: “What you’re going through and how you feel is entirely unique to you. And whatever those feelings are, they are valid.
“Calling Samaritans provides an opportunity to process all those thoughts and emotions that you might be having.”
Last month, the Scottish Government confirmed an extension of funding to support the charity’s listening services. Lewis, a listening volunteer in Samaritans Inverclyde branch, believes talking provides a valuable outlet, even before reaching a point of crisis.
“Speak to someone and just tell them how you’re feeling,” Lewis, another volunteer, urged. “Tell them what’s going on in your mind.
“If you don’t have someone you can talk to, or who you don’t feel comfortable enough to talk to, we’re here at Samaritans 24/7 and we can listen to you and explore how you’re feeling and what you’ve been going through without judgement.”
Samaritans is also encouraging the public to raise vital funds to prevent more lives being lost to suicide and to ensure that it can continue to be there for anyone who needs a listening ear.
“It's been a challenging few years and we know that many people are still facing all kinds of pressure,” said Danielle Rowley of Samaritans Scotland.
“We want to remind the public that they are not alone. It doesn’t matter how great or small the problems feel, our volunteers are here at any time of day or night, whatever they are facing.”
Anyone can contact Samaritans for free anytime from any phone on 116 123, even on a mobile without credit, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.