Mental Health in the Workplace Level 3 (VTQ)

62 videos, 2 hours and 49 minutes

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The Samaritans

Video 4 of 62
2 min 34 sec
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Samaritans started late in the '50s, very early in the '60s, by a chap called the Reverend Chad Varah. He was looking after a parish in a rough end of London, and he had just conducted a funeral for a young girl, I think she was about 14, and she had taken her life. And the story goes that her periods had started, and she hadn't got a clue what was going off, and she took her life. And he made the conscious decision that he would try to do what he could to, not stop, but help prevent suicides. So he just put a notice up on the church saying, "If you want to talk to me about something, come round." And then somebody says, "What are you doing?" "I'm doing this." "Well, I'll give it a go." So he started off with two, then four, then it grew and they put a phone line in. And it just expanded to where it is now, and I think there's about 220... I think it's about 226 branches with 23,000 people volunteering for it. And it's 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365... 366 days if it's a leap year. Non-stop.

And anybody can phone Samaritans about a whole host of subjects from your dog being put down, to a screaming row with your partner, to the kids driving you to the end where you want to strangle them, to where you genuinely feel that life can't go on and you want to end your life. People contact Samaritans in a group of ways. We can be contacted on a free phone telephone number, we can be contacted by text, by email, by letter and face-to-face. And most of the big concerts that you go to, Glastonbury, those sort of things, you'll find a Samaritan presence there. We attend the big concerts and festivals that people can drop in for a chat if they want to.