Volunteers for charities like Samaritans are considered key workers, and we will continue to provide the service at this time of need.
However, like many organisations, the number of volunteers actively taking calls have dropped as there are some who are unable to do their shifts due to self-isolationbeing in the at-risk group, or who live with vulnerable family members.
That means fewer volunteers, at a time when the call volumes have increased significantly as so many more people are anxious over the current state of affairs.
The lack of control over what is happening:
– Family & loved ones
– Own mortality
– Uncertain future.
We have fewer volunteers now to respond to the calls, so I have a few key messages:
1. If you are one of those who make inappropriate calls, STOP IT. Call the 0906 number if you need to, and PAY for the service you want.
2. If you are one of those who call to abuse the volunteers, STOP IT. We are people too, and we are not there for you to abuse.
3. It’s ok to be angry at the world, and at the situation, and the service is a safe space for you to vent. But please don’t take it out on the listening volunteer.
4. If you are in a relatively secure and in a good place, please check in with your friends and family, especially those who may need more emotional support.
5. If you are feeling anxious and vulnerable, reach out to friends and family, co-workers and neighbours.
People are more understanding of how fragile life is, and how such a seismic event is potentially impacting everyone’s mental health.
This too, shall pass.
Stay home, and don’t call the Samaritans because you’re bored.
Read a book or binge watch Netflix.
Entertaining bored people is not what the service is for.
We are there for those who are in deep emotional distress, and who haven’t got a support network to lean on.
#bekind and #takecareofeachother