Column; The Samaritans are here to help in Sheffield by Sandra Waters

Help is available when it all gets too much.
Help is available when it all gets too much.

There has been a branch of Samaritans in Sheffield for over 50 years, here as support to the many callers who have needed a confidential place in which to talk about their feelings.

In 1953, the Samaritans was begun by Chad Varah, a vicar from London, who set himself up as a man and a phone, someone willing to listen, are we still relevant here in Sheffield in 2015? I believe we are and as director of the Sheffield branch I want to explore all the ways we can continue and improve to do this for all our communities.

Sheffield is a highly regarded university city, home to two thriving universities; we welcome many new students each year. For most this is nothing but a positive time in their lives, after graduation many decide to stay on in the area, making their lives here and adding to the wealth of talent that this city is proud of.

There are many pressures facing our students however, maybe some find themselves struggling to adapt to being away from familiar surroundings and feel isolated, maybe some are facing debt, and yet are anxious about making these feelings known to those around them.

Having worked hard and gained your university place, shouldn’t life be fun from now on? The Samaritans take the mental health of the students who study here very seriously, and are working with the university nightline, to offer support, 24/7.

Your impression of Samaritans may be that you have to be actively thinking of ending your life before we will help, and certainly if that is how you are feeling we are the people to speak to.

However we are here to listen and share all of your thoughts and feelings in a confidential safe way before those feelings overtake you, our belief is that by talking to someone about how you are feeling can help.

In 1953 Samaritans was one man one phone, now there are over 16000 volunteers waiting to talk to you, how do you contact us?

Yes still by phone if you choose, or by email, SMS, write us a letter or come into the branch to speak to someone face to face. The digital future is something we are investing in too,

Samaritans doesn’t stand still .

A lot has happened in the world since 1953 but Samaritans are still here and still listening.

Sheffield Samaritans is based at 272, Queens Road, Sheffield S2 4DL and is usually open to callers between 10am to 10pm. Call free on 116 123 or 01142 767277.