Diane Langhorn addressed the Club at our weekly meeting on the work of the Samaritans – Diane is a volunteer at the Chester Branch of the organisation.
To quote from their web site:
We’re working together to make sure fewer people die by suicide.
Diane outlined the training undergone pre ‘sole working’ – 6 months of a listening agenda. In the UK there are 200 branches, receiving a call every 6 seconds answered by one of 20,000 volunteers – 365 days a year, 24/7. In 2018 the Chester branch handled 21,000 calls plus emails – incredible. Many of the calls are not of a potential suicidal intent and can range from personal relationship breakdowns, mental health issues, people ‘in crisis’ to prisoners often with Samaritans being their only outside contact – unfortunately there are an excess of sexual demanding calls to the operators. Interestingly Samaritans are a listening, non advisory service and volunteers will only sign post to other organisations if requested to do so.
A vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Mike Holt.