On Monday, March 2nd 1970, the first branch of Samaritans in Ireland opened in a house, scheduled for demolition, in Dublin city centre. An advertisement had been placed in the Irish Press newspaper looking for volunteers and the response was terrific.
A handful of volunteers took calls on a single telephone, and answering the door to the occasional visitor. 47 years later and there are over 330 Dublin Samaritans answering phone calls, texts and emails, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
In our first year of listening (1970/71) we had over 1,000 contacts.
Last year we received nearly 110,000 calls in our Dublin branch.
Despite changes to our appearance and the technology we use, the service that is offered by Samaritans today is no different from that of 1970. Over the years, the organisation has received millions of calls from people in distress and hundreds of thousands of people have given their time to become volunteers. For as long as we are needed, we will be here.
Samaritans vision is that fewer people die by suicide.
We work to achieve this by making it our mission to alleviate emotional distress and reduce the incidence of suicide feelings and suicidal behaviour.
What happens when you contact us?
We listen to you and help you talk through your concerns, worries and troubles.
We focus on your thoughts and feelings rather than going into the details, so we may ask questions to help explore how you feel.
Most people aren’t suicidal.
Most people who contact us are not suicidal. When you talk to us, we will give you an opportunity to talk about any thoughts or feelings you have, whatever they may be.
How does focusing on feelings help?
You’ll be able to see things more clearly. You’ll be able to think much more clearly about what your options are. Sometimes people need to cry or show how angry they are at life, or go over their thoughts and feelings several times to make sense of them, and that’s fine. We’re there for as long as you need us.
We won’t tell you what you should do.
We won’t make decisions for you, and we’ll support the decisions you make. We do not judge or offer advice.You are the expert on your own life. Our advice or opinions are not important.
Dublin Samaritans is a registered charity