Samaritans Awareness Day – The Big Listen

Samaritans Awareness Day – The Big Listen

Every six seconds someone will contact the Samaritans. In ten minutes they can help someone turn their life around.  Whether this be via telephone, email, text, face to face or even by letter the Samaritans are always there to listen. 

24th July 2021 marks Samarians Awareness Day.  This day is cleverly held on 24/7 to illustrate the lifesaving work the charity do 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Bridgend Samaritans

The Bridgend Samaritans is located on 2 Green Street (CF31 1HF) and has been a part of the community since 1975.  The local community has been supported for over 45 years by a team of volunteers who provide telephone, email and face to face (depending on COVID restrictions) listening services everyday of the week including weekends and overnights. 

Currently Bridgend Samaritans have 88 volunteers.  In 2019 it is recorded that Bridgend Samaritans alone spent over 4,500 hours on the phone answering over 24,000 calls.  As well as the listening services, before the pandemic, the volunteers at Bridgend would be in the town centre on Saturday nights, at the Princess of Wales hospital and in Bridgend custody suite supporting and listening to anyone.  As well as this the volunteers train and support listeners at Parc Prison so they can help and support their fellow prisoners. 

When to call Samaritans

A regular misconception about Samaritans is that you should only call when you are suicidal – this is not the case. 

You do not have to be suicidal to get in touch, only 1 in 5 people who call Samaritans say they feel suicidal.  Perhaps you are struggling to cope with everyday life or don’t feel the same as everyone else.  You might not even be able to quite put your finger on it, but the main thing is that you’re not feeling as you should be and would like to be listened to. 

Here are some key signs to look out for. You may be:

  • Lacking energy or feeling tired
  • Feeling exhausted
  • Experiencing ‘brain fog’/finding it hard to think clearly
  • Finding it hard to concentrate
  • Feeling restless and agitated
  • Feeling tearful/wanting to constantly cry
  • Not wanting to socialise
  • Not enjoying/wanting to do things you normally would
  • Using alcohol or drugs to cope with feelings
  • Finding it hard to cope with everyday things
  • Experiencing ‘burn out’

Even if you don’t see what you are feeling on the list you can still get in touch.  If you think these symptoms sound like you or someone else you know, then please see the contact details at the bottom of this page and get in touch with Samaritans. 

What to do if you are worried about someone else

A common worry is that reaching out to support others may make things worse.  You will soon be able to tell if someone you are speaking to doesn’t want to have that sort of conversation. If they don’t want to talk you can still let them know you are there for them. Once someone starts to share their feelings it is important to listen. 

The Samaritans have created some listening tips (SHUSH):

Show You Care

Focus on the other person by making eye contact and putting your phone away.

Have Patience

Be prepared that it may take time and several attempts before a person is ready to open up.

Use Open Questions

Ask questions that need more than a yes/no answer and be sure to follow up with questions like ‘tell me more’, ‘how did that make you feel’.

Say it Back

Check you’ve understood the person but try not to interrupt or offer solutions. Reporting back to someone can really help reassure someone they have your attention.

Have Courage

Try not to be put off by negative responses or lashing out comments.  Don’t feel like you have to fill a silence, let the person you are talking to lead.

Contacting a Samaritan

Whatever you are going through the Samaritans are there to listen – they won’t judge or tell you want to do.

Call anytime from any phone for free here.

If you want to  write down your feelings, email here and get a response within 24 hours. 

Some people prefer to write a letter when discussing their feelings.  Send you letters to: Freepost SAMARITANS LETTER.

If you want to keep track of how you are feeling and reccomendations for how you can help yourself then download the Samaritans Self-Help app from your app store.

If you think someone is in immediate danger then the quickest way to get help and support is by calling 999.