Samaritans offer skills in dealing with emotions for World Suicide Prevention Day

To mark World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September 2015, Samaritans is encouraging anyone worried about a friend, colleague or family member who may be struggling to cope to ask, ‘Are you OK?’

Not everyone finds it easy to start a conversation that may be uncomfortable. And not everyone shows signs that they are struggling with difficult thoughts or feelings. But simple human contact - knowing that you’re not alone with your troubles and that someone will listen – can make a big difference, even at really difficult times.

More than 6,000 people take their own lives in the UK every year and the Republic of Ireland every year.

Director of Putney Samaritans, Shona Synnott, says sharing a problem is the first step to finding a way through it:
“It takes a bit of bravery, but if you suspect someone’s having a tough time, reach out if you can. Let them talk and just listen - try not to judge. If they make it clear that they don’t want to talk to you, let them know that Samaritans is here, round the clock every single day of the year, for anyone who needs the space to think and talk in confidence.”

Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland says while you can’t take on another person’s troubles, you can let them know you care:
“If you ask, ‘Are you OK?’ and show you are there to listen, people are far less likely to feel they have to go it alone with their troubles. Often it’s not about looking for someone to fix a problem – sometimes the biggest help can be having someone to share it with.”

As well as answering calls, emails, texts and talking to people face to face, Samaritans promote emotional health and wellbeing through their outreach work. Samaritans has also created a programme of resources for schools called DEAL (Developing Emotional Awareness and Listening), which is available online to teachers.

For tips and guidance on starting difficult conversations, go to www.samaritans.org/wspd and follow us on Twitter @samaritans, using the hashtag #RUOK?

Samaritans offers round-the-clock support for anyone who’s struggling, whoever they are, however they are feeling, and whatever life has done to them. People can contact Samaritans in confidence by phone, email, text or face to face in one of its 201 branches. Anyone who wants to talk in confidence to Samaritans can call 08457 90 90 90 or email jo@samaritans.org.

Putney Samaritans next information evening is on Wednesday 16 September at 7.30pm (arrive 7.15pm for refreshments). There's no need to book, just come along if you're interested in volunteering with us. It's held at our branch and will finish by 9.30pm. We look forward to seeing you there.

September 7, 2015