I know this because after much frustration I started phoning the Samaritans in the USA. At first I thought the appalling support from Samaritans UK (with some notable exceptions) was “just my fault” until I discovered the USA Samaritans. I used a cheap international dialling number and 99% of the time the USA Samaritans have been empathetic, compassionate, intelligent, professional and most of all, human. The UK Samaritans have been very unprofessional with me, cruel, sadistic, unhelpful, playing mind games and gaslighting, telling me what I can and cannot talk about, lacking ability to emote and get an emotional connection. This while all the time saying “how do you feel” over and over, as well as “I’m here to listen” thinking that hiding behind these phrases can somehow shield them from responsibility for their actions.

I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND ANYONE USE THE SAMARITANS IN THE UK AT THE MOMENT. THEY ARE A BROKEN ORGANISATION AND ARE IN DENIAL OF THEIR SYSTEMIC PROBLEM.

This is a shame as a minority of Samaritans in the UK can be very good and compassionate. I suggest they resign and join help lines THAT ARE HELPFUL AND WELL RUN, like Safeline, Devon Rape Crisis or whatever local organisation is well run and if it comes to it will professionally deal with an issue. NOT IGNORE THE ISSUE LIKE UK SAMARITANS HAVE BEEN DOING TO ME FOR OVER THREE YEARS.

As I said THIS IS NOT ME. I am not posting this out of spite or due to some kind of denial of an emotional problem I have. How is it that over numerous phone calls to the Samaritans in the USA, 99% of the time I have been treated with courtesy and respect ? This is because they have volunteers who are appropriately trained and (I assume they must be because of how much better they are) screened. I don’t think this is just down to some cultural difference between the UK and USA. The difference in quality between Samaritan UK and USA is very stark.

So Samaritans UK you’ve had your chance. I tried to make my concerns known over the years but you never did anything about it.

I WOULD RECOMMEND YOU *NOT* PHONE THE SAMARITANS IN THE UK *ESPECIALLY* IF YOU ARE SUICIDAL. YOU WILL PUT YOUR LIFE AT RISK. FIND AN ORGANISATION OR SOMEONE WHO WILL GIVE YOU COMPASSION.

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