Every year, Falkirk and Central Scotland Samaritans mark the 24th July, as that date symbolises their services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (24/7).
This year, on Sunday 24th July, the Kelpies will be turning green for Samaritans. To celebrate, the Samaritans will be releasing 247 green balloons outside their branch in Orchard Street, Falkirk, at 8pm, before heading to the Kelpies at 9pm for photos with the volunteers wearing their green shirts, highlighting the support they offer to the community.
Talk to Us, the Samaritans’ annual month-long awareness raising campaign, aims to improve the UK’s listening skills.
Every six seconds, someone in the UK and Ireland contacts Samaritans, and every 90 minutes in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, someone takes their own life.
Samaritans believes that listening is crucial to helping people find their way through their problems. They would like to encourage people to seek help early, rather than when they reach a crisis.
Samaritans have a list of key listening tips, or S-H-U-S-H!:
- Show you care: focus just on the other person, make eye contact, put away your phone
- Have patience: it may take time and several attempts before a person is ready to open up
- Use open questions: that need more than a yes or no answer, and follow up, e.g. “Tell me more”.
- Say it back: to check you’ve understood, but don’t interrupt or offer a solution
- Have courage: don’t be put off by a negative response and, most importantly, don’t be afraid to leave silence
Anyone who wishes to talk in confidence to Samaritans should contact them by phone: 01324 622066, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, visit the Samaritans website.