THE Samaritans are looking for listening volunteers to help it continue delivering its vital services.
The charity recently issued public pleas for anyone contemplating harming themselves to get in touch.
The offers of help came following a number of sudden tragedies across the north west.
James, who asked that only his first name be used for anonymity reasons, is a listening volunteer and outreach officer with the Derry branch of the Samaritans.
He said it was a hugely fulfilling role. He also said it was important to remind people that around-the-clock support is available to anyone who is feeling depressed or who may be struggling.
“In light of recent tragic events in Letterkenny and other parts of the north west it is timely to remind people about the importance of talking about difficult feelings and emotions.
“It is equally important to emphasis the importance of listening. Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of daily life we might fail to notice that a friend or work colleague, neighbour or family member is behaving differently.
“Perhaps they are quieter than usual, appear distracted or are struggling to concentrate.
“It is vital that they are given the opportunity to speak to someone they can trust, be that a friend or colleague or anonymously to a volunteer at an organisation like Samaritans.”
James pointed out that the Samaritans listening service is available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year and that it is the only 24/7 suicide prevention charity working across the Republic of Ireland and the UK.
“Samaritans have 201 branches across the UK and Republic of Ireland with around 22,000 listening volunteers,” he said.
“As well as a telephone listening service – phone number 116 123 – we can be contacted by email at email@example.com for anyone who might not be ready to talk.”
James also made the point that an individual does not have to be suicidal to reach out for help.
“If you need to talk we will be there to listen,” he said, adding that the Samaritans are currently recruiting listening volunteers.
“You can put your name forward for consideration via the Samaritans website :
www.samaritans.org,” he added.