End of code

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

My Experience Contacting The Samaritans UK

[The Samaritans is UK/ROI service]
 
Hello everyone! Todays post is going to be a little bit different than usual, but I feel like it's a subject that could potentially be quite helpful to some people. I'm going to be talking about the Samaritans, which is a support service for people with mental health issues/people who are having a hard time. During March this year, something happened in my personal life that I needed some help to deal with, so I reached out to the Samaritans through email. Today, I thought I'd share my experience and raise some awareness for the service. Also, just to make you guys aware: you don't have to be suicidal to contact the Samaritans. You don't have to have a history of mental health issues. I wasn't feeling suicidal when I contacted them at all, it was mostly because of anxiety reasons.


I chose to email the Samaritans, although you can also write them a letter or phone them. I decided to email because 1. it was very late at night and I didn't want anyone in my home to hear me/wake up, 2. because talking on the phone makes me nervous and 3. because the email service is free. I used my iPhone and emailed the address, and just basically typed out all of the thoughts that were in my head. I felt a little better straight away - mostly just because all of my thoughts were out there and weren't locked away. I gave my age, but no other personal information, not even my name or gender. I felt assured that they wouldn't gather my name (which is in my email address) as on the website it explains that your email address is replaced by a series of numbers before it reaches the volunteers, so they don't ever see it.
 
The email service does take a little while to respond - I received a reply about 8 hours later, which didn't matter much to me because I mainly used the service at night, so by the next morning when I woke up I had a reply. I found them very helpful - they asked me questions to help break down my situation and asked me to specify what certain things made me feel certain ways etc. After a few emails back and forth, they asked me if I would tell them my name so that they could make the emails more personal. I did, but I only told them my first name. You don't even have to do this, or you could give them a nickname if you'd prefer.
 
Sometimes I went days without replying to the emails, sometimes I answered them right away. The good thing about the service is that they keep your emails backlogged for 30 days, so you could go two weeks without contacting them, then when you do they have your email history so you don't have to recount everything all over again. 
 
This service is a 24 hour service, although reply times depend on how many volunteers are working at that time. Like I said before: you don't have to be suicidal/suffer from mental health issues to get in touch. There is also no age restriction when contacting them. If you need immediate support, you can phone them on 08457 90 90 90. To email the Samaritans, here's the address: jo@samaritans.org. For more information on all of the services available, here is the website: http://www.samaritans.org/.
 
I hope that this post helped some of you in some small/big way! Sometimes its so easy to get tangled up in your thoughts, and it's so important to have support. For me, it was easier and less pressure to contact the Samaritans than it was to phone a friend at 1am. You don't even have to tell anyone that you're talking to them - just do it for yourself. It's a total no-judgement service, and they are very sensitive to your needs.
 

4 comments:

  1. Lauren, thank you for sharing this with us, I am aware of the Samaritans, my sister used to volunteer there, however I had no idea that you could email them. I don't know why, but I never thought about emailing them over my anxiety, which I think it's something I might take up, thanks to you! Hope you are feeling better!
    It'sMyLife

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for this comment! I'm glad the post was helpful. I didn't know about their emailing service beforehand either, but I'm so glad I found it! x

      Delete
  2. Such a great post and so brave of you to share! I had no idea the Samaritans had an email service!
    Imogen’s Typewriter. <3

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for commenting! Please feel free to leave your links - I'm always on the look out for new blogs to read xo

HEADER DESIGNED BY PRETTYWILDTHINGS