Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 August 2015

Samaritans - the art of listening

Published 22/09/2008

It is right that the issue of suicide should continue to remain high on the social agenda (More help needed to stop suicide, letters 16 September).

Whilst more can always be done to try and alleviate the suffering of those feeling suicidal or in depression it is important to remember that we can all play a part in helping each other by doing something basic - listening to each other more often. Samaritans have been active in Belfast for 47 years. We have built up years of experience providing support to people in distress. Our emotional support strategy is about reaching people before the point of crisis. That means we listen to a caller, to allow them the time to talk about their feelings. Time is no barrier when our volunteers give their time to listen.

The Samaritan service is available to all who need emotional support and there are many many people in all of our communities who have used and continue to use our range of services which range from telephone to email emotional support. We urge people in emotional distress to contact our service. It never closes. It provides a unique confidential, non-judgmental, 24:7 emotional support line manned by dedicated, caring, and fully trained volunteers who believe passionately in the Samaritan ethos - the art of listening. Our national helpline is 08457 90 90 90 and email address is

Alan Heron

Belfast Samaritans

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