Well, what can I say about HELPLINES?
Well first, it depends on the reason for your interest:
Is it as someone who cares and wants to know "what can I do?" then:
If so, then there's actually some GREAT positive news for you. You can do a lot. And you might not even have to go anywhere. Because you can simply SHARE helplines numbers via social media and wherever you can. And nowadays there are many ways to do it via your smartphone, tablet, computer or word of mouth while out and about. You may be able to ask a workplace to pin a leaflet up as some charities may provide one for a work place and you're going there anyway. Or just print one off at home and take in. Its the number that counts. Believe me, you never know who is watching and it could save a life, or certainly improve one, if they come across that number and use it. The first major step, is for people to KNOW about these helplines. And you maybe surprised how many people are not fully aware of them. The person then being able to feel they should ring is of course another major step. But if you SHARE HELPLINE numbers, thank you, you have made a difference. You can also see below, where I write about difficulties some may face with ringing HELPLINES, especially for the first time.
Is it as a vulnerable person? then:
If you are a vulnerable person, PLEASE at least try these helplines IF you can. And if you come across one that you think is useless... don't give up, KEEP TRYING, because you're worth it, no matter what you feel or tell yourself. Below you can see an article I wrote that was in Samaritans News, please read it. HELPLINES DO sometimes help. I talked about what I did, to help others not feel so silly or embarrassed to call helplines. But also to know, many of the things they think and feel, others have felt in the past. And although it for me was Samaritans helpline, I am expressing this about helplines in general, whichever one you may need or use.
Helplines are important for ALL ages, and for so many different reasons. So please call or reach out to that someone... TODAY. I know that sometimes they don't work, but try again if that is the case. And keep searching for help, it IS important that you do, as then you won't give up on yourself. And at the end of the day, thats what its about... YOU. I'm not writing this for a charity or organisation, it's for YOU, and yes me too. I don't lose sight of the fact, that its not even about the HELPLINE, its about YOU.
In the right hand column, you will see Samaritans which is for all ages and reasons. There's NAPAC, for adults abused in childhood. There's Childline for Children. And there's the Befrienders website, for those outside the UK. And yes there are lots of helplines, and I haven't listed them all here. But the ones I have, is at least a start. But its more important for me to share with you, why you should call and keep trying, or, keep sharing these helplines. Thank you. John.
The world needs YOU here
to make it a better place.
Be one more to say:
Here's the text of the Article that I was asked to write by Samaritans, about my use of their HELPLINE.
“I was in my thirties when I really realized things weren't right with my health. I was always withdrawn and this, along with my health in general, had got worse. After a breakdown I went from having contact with a few people, to a couple, to one... to none.
“I was trying to survive flashbacks of the abuse I suffered as a child. My mental health issues were debilitating and destructive, sleeping issues and eating issues amongst them. I was alone, only the walls of my flat confirmed my existence.
“I'd heard about Samaritans, but up until then, I'd never rung them. I never thought I'd need to. But calling the Samaritans isn't as easy as some may feel, especially when you really need to. Feeling worthless doesn't lend easy to feeling you are worthy of another person’s ear. As well as that there can be a feeling of being selfish and so many other things that can stop someone from making that call. It wasn't easy, but I eventually did. I didn't know what to expect. Through this period I rang the Samaritans three or four times.
“When the voice spoke to me, they made contact, and I was not alone. I'd had a chip pan fire that night and I'd dealt with it, but I was all worked up. Was that why I rang? No, there was a deeper need, I was alone and vulnerable. I talked, and this person listened. After a short time of talking, I felt guilty for using the helpline, but the voice always reassured me that it was OK. Some time passed, and after talking, being listened to and reassured, I felt calmer. It was so significant that years later, I wrote a poem about it.
“Do I tell people it took away my pain? No, but pain was no longer all I felt. That can make the difference between someone being here or not. Or someone feeling worthless or not. At that time, it was just so unique for me to be able to talk and be listened to and respected. For any Samaritans reading this I can’t tell you that you will save everyone. But I can tell you that you will save someone. Above all, you do make a difference. I never called for all the answers, I called because I was alone, nothing and no one. But by the end of the call, I was someone. That's what the Samaritans meant to me. In the years since then, I have told people about my experiences of the Samaritans, and continue to do so. I want to show how amazing it is to sometimes literally save a life by a phone call. Through my poetry I hope that more people seek help from organisations like Samaritans.”
The picture below is the front cover of Samaritans magazine, where my above article was printed in:
This was also on the Samaritans website for a time, and a few months after that a vulnerable person contacted me and told me, my story helped them make that first call. They said after reading it, they didn't feel silly about calling Samaritans and so did. That's as good as it gets for me. And no matter what, that one person alone made it worthwhile writing and sharing my article with Samaritans. I've also been lucky in being asked by Samaritans to do a talk at a Samaritans branch, sharing my story to those working for them.
Samaritans HELPLINE is here 24 / 7
Are you vulnerable? Feeling low?
Then why not call:
UK & Ireland: 116 123
PLEASE call or reach out to
that someone... TODAY
Photo below at the end of the Brighton Marathon 2013,
after running for the official Team Samaritans that year.