Discussion in 'Random Thoughts' started by autophobe2e, May 19, 2013.

  1. autophobe2e

    autophobe2e Senior Member

    so, once i go home i'm applying to be a samaritan. i dunno if they have them outside of the uk, but i know there are similar things all over, essentially, while not exactly a suicide hotline, the samaritans offer "listeners" who man a 24 hour phone-line which can be called completely anonymously by anyone who feels in need of unburdening their souls, impartial advice, or just a quick natter.

    if they think im up to it i'll be training for a few weeks and then i'll be on a 4-6 hour shift once a week of which a night time shift once every fortnight.

    does anyone here have any experience with anything similar? do you have any advice (i appreciate you might not want to be specific about your experiences for ethical reasons) that might help a) me get it b) the emotional strain.?
  2. Lostsoul667

    Lostsoul667 Member

    I haven't used it but i always wear the Veterans Crisis Line Bracelet just in case. But i have heard of some people that use it and i hope you wont be like the person that they called.

    Basically the guy just needed someone to listen to the problems he had and right away he said he was feeling a little suicidal but just said he to someone to listen to his problems. The guy at the crisis line asked "don't you have any friends you can call up?"
    he responds with "no i don't" then the guy said "you need to hang up and dial 911" and that was the end of the conversation.

    The guy answering the phone was not responding how he should have and when i made a couple of comments to some of the employees that i see in mental health at the VA thats exactly what they told me and then made a couple of calls the the VA crisis line to discuss this.
  3. Asmodean

    Asmodean Slo motion rider

    I'm not sure I have good advice but I have a terrible amount of respect for people who help others in this way. I think it is really heavy. We have a similar thing over here as well yes, although I don't think it's called samaritans.
  4. autophobe2e

    autophobe2e Senior Member

    well, i've been interested in joining for a few years, but what with living between cities i and work i didn't have the time to volunteer. more to the point though, i suspected that i wasn't emotionally ready to cope with the burden and the stress, although i had a few friends who were in worse states than me, prone to panic attacks and depression, and found helping them where i could by listening to be very therapeutic for me.

    but i think (hope) that i'm a lot more ready for it now, and i hope that having been on the other end of the phone (as it were) will be a help rather than a hindrance. i think it can be a really good thing, one of those incidental kindnesses that can mean the world to someone in need.
  5. autophobe2e

    autophobe2e Senior Member

    thats not cool,

    i think samaritans a have a list of contacts that they can refer you to who can give more specific, specialised help to people in need, childline and suicide prevention and stuff like that, but not in like a "this is not my problem/department, piss off." sort of way.
  6. Lostsoul667

    Lostsoul667 Member

    they are supposed to be like the suicide hotline for veterans. Thats why the psychologist and social worker i talked to were making calls to the crisis line managers to discuss the issues they've been hearing about.

    In fact i found out a couple of days ago if they feel a caller is serious about his intent they are supposed to 911 themselves and have a police car sent out to check on them.
  7. autophobe2e

    autophobe2e Senior Member

    interesting. Samaritans can't do that, the system is so designed that the only contact details they have for callers are ones they choose to give, the listener does not even have the phone number that is calling them.

    even if they actually come to visit the local branch, a listener has to pretend not to recognise them outside of work.

    the only time they are allowed/compelled to contact the police is in the event of a bomb threat or information about an impending act of terrorism or if there is a court order which demands that they give information to them.

    this is one of the reasons its emotionally challenging, its the secular equivalent of being a priest at confession, someone could call up and confess to a rape or murder, and the most you can do is advise them to give themselves in.
  8. cynthy160

    cynthy160 Senior Member

    Not to sound negative about this, but if word gets out that the helpers of such a group are going to call the police on someone for being suicidal (or simply because the helper perceives them as suicidal), that could be enough for them to avoid calling such a group in the first place. Moreover, not knowing about being ratted out until it happens, it may be enough for a person with issues to cause them to become suicidal or drive already suicidal people over the edge and cause them to commit suicide.

    Some people don't trust law enforcement or other authority figures and would never call such people when suicidal. That's part of the need for a group that doesn't do something that a suicidal person would consider ratting out on them and make the situation worse.

    This involves good judgemnt on the part of the person who is the listener. They need to understand what is troubling the suicidal person and not do things that will make it worse. It's also an issue for a help group with regards to how it is choosing people to be samaritans and how they are determining what are the proper qualifications for being such a person.

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