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Samaritans' mission
Samaritans is available 24 hours a day to provide confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide.

Samaritans' vision
Samaritans' vision is for a society in which:
  • Fewer people die by suicide
  • People are able to explore their feelings
  • People are able to acknowledge and respect the feelings of others
Samaritans' values
Samaritans' values are based on these beliefs:
  • The importance of having the opportunity to explore difficult feelings
  • That being listened to, in confidence and accepted without prejudice, can alleviate despair and suicidal feelings
  • That everyone has the right to make fundamental decisions about their own life, including the decision to die by suicide

24 Hour Availability

Callers can contact Samaritans by telephone, letter, e-mail and minicom. The commitment to making these means of access available 24 hours a day will be maintained by all branches (except Festival and Correspondence branches).
Callers can visit a branch for face-to-face support (except Correspondence branch). Each branch will advertise when they are available for face-to-face support Samaritans' aim is to ensure that telephone and minicom callers are not kept waiting for a response and that as many as possible get through first time.
The objective for distributing calls via 08457 90 90 90 (UK) and 1 850 60 90 90 (ROI) is to cascade geographically by locality and region to try to ensure that no caller receives the engaged tone when a volunteer is available to take a call.


All information relating to a caller is confidential to Samaritans unless:
We have informed consent from a caller to pass on information
We call an ambulance because a caller appears to be incapable of making rational decisions for him or herself
We receive a court order requiring us to divulge information
We are passed information about acts of terrorism or bomb warnings
A caller attacks or threatens volunteers
A caller deliberately prevents the service from being delivered to other callers
Samaritans maintains confidentiality even after the death of a caller.


Samaritans publicly state how information relating to callers is used.
Callers are informed of what volunteers can and cannot offer.
Samaritans do not make recordings of calls but occasionally a colleague may listen in for training purposes and/or to offer support to the volunteer engaged with a caller.
All complaints will be investigated fully and sympathetically and callers will receive a response in the shortest possible time.

Emotionally Supportive

Callers in need of Samaritans' service are accepted without prejudice and encouraged to talk or write about their feelings, acknowledge their emotions and explore options.
Volunteers use their listening skills, recognise the needs of callers and respond appropriately.
Volunteers will not impose their own convictions, or influence callers, in regard to politics, philosophy or religion.
If a caller is at risk of suicide, or in despair, follow up contact is offered.
With a caller's permission, and after consultation with the person responsible for Caller Care, a group of volunteers may be assigned to a caller, to offer support through a period of distress.
If a caller is in need of other help, information may be passed on about other agencies (if held). With the caller's informed consent, and after consultation with the person responsible for Caller Care, a referral may be made on their behalf.
Samaritans also welcomes appropriate referrals from other agencies or individuals.

Carefully Structured

Samaritans aim to offer a consistent service to callers. To support this aim, the care being offered is regularly reviewed and evaluated, to ensure it encourages callers to work towards managing their lives without dependency or attachment.
Samaritans volunteers are subject to a police record check (except in Ireland), selected and specially trained.
To ensure the safety and welfare of callers and volunteers, Samaritans' service is only available while volunteers are fully supported by a colleague and a leader.
If a volunteer deliberately prejudices the emotional or physical safety of callers, or the reputation of the organisation, this will be deemed as an act of serious misconduct for which they will be dismissed.
Samaritans strives to make the service as accessible as possible to those most in need and supports the Disability Discrimination and Equal Opportunities Acts.
Samaritans reserves the right to end a call or withdraw the service if it is being used inappropriately.


Callers remain responsible for their lives and do not lose the right to make decisions even if that decision is to take their own life.

  The Samaritans,
112 Malborough Street,
Dublin 1.
Tel: 01 - 872 7700
Helpline: 1 850 60 90 90

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