Thursday, 15 October 2015

Credit

I worked a shift at Samaritans tonight.
We answer emails as well as phone calls...
I was lucky enough to read a measured, supportive and ever so clever email reply from a SAMS branch from Southern England to an actively suicidal correspondent. The distressed writer returned an email, and it was obvious that the whole  view of his life had been turned around by a few well chosen, heartfelt and powerfully appropriate words from a nameless, talented and unpaid volunteer.
How effin amazing is that? 

37 comments:

  1. I know , i shouldnt really talk about this.... But it sooo affected me this evening

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  2. As long you don't divulge any protected information, I think you are in the clear! Hat's off to your fellow volunteers and to you as well. Glad you are there for those who need it.

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    1. Yes...i so want to applaud them ...a brilliant reply

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  3. God Bless the Samaritans, they do not get enough credit!!!!! My husband has lost two brothers to suicide in the last four years, a kind word can change everything.

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  4. The right word, at the right time, can change the entire course of life... such is the power of love in action.

    You're pretty good at that yourself, old chum.

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    1. Amy ..you are soooo right

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  6. AMAZING !
    I am tearing up.

    cheers, parsnip

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  7. Stories like this give me hope!

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  8. the power of a simple word, like "love" and "care" and "special", may make all the difference.

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  9. Ahhh, how wonderful.. saving a life with just the right words ..

    my brother in law committed suicide about a week before my son was born. Talk about sad/happy times. What was really sad was that the brother in law was a doctor from a family of doctors ..

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  10. I received one of those emails once, many years ago. There were not many words in it, and I did not pursue the exchange, but the fact that the option was there got me through one dreadful dark night.

    Thanks.

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  11. That is completely effing brilliant.
    We have an on line chat service here, but don't offer the email option. I will raise it next time I go in.

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  12. Its ok - no PHIA rules were broken (no names, demographics, etc) were shared so its all good! And good for you! Such a great feeling I am sure! Well done...

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  13. That is the best story. There are some good people out there and in the right place and the right time.

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  14. Wonderful! The right words at the right time can change a life.

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  15. A word in time, eh? My admiration goes out to all who fill positions like that, helping people in distress....volunteer or paid. Good job!
    Leaving for your side of the pond Monday, I'll wave as I pass over.

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  16. That sounds wonderful. Well done to all of you.

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  17. I can never hear too many stories about human kindness and compassion. It helps to balance all the negativity in the world.

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  18. I work as a volunteer at a youth center and it breaks your heart when you hear their stories, but if you offer a hug or hold a hand when they are talking, they often end hugging you hard and crying until they need to stop. It is wonderful to feel that in a world of noise we can still make music for those who need to hear it.

    Allegra

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  19. It take guts and couradge to be such a volunteer God bless those that have both and help the neddy.

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  20. It take guts and couradge to be such a volunteer God bless those that have both and help the neddy.

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  21. So many people try to tear other people down, it's wonderful to read about someone propping somebody up.

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  22. Thank goodness that in a world which seems to be totally self absorbed and on the road to destruction, there are still people out there like you, John, who care deeply for their fellow "travellers" - be they human or animal.

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  23. Words, they can be so powerful, how wonderful that in this instance the power of the written word saved a life. If you think about it that helpful email will most likely be saved on the recipients device and be read over and over whenever they are needed.

    You and your fellow Sams do a brilliant job and always have.

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  24. Wonderful news. Sometimes people just want to be heard. I know you cannot divulge what was said but I think it would be good if we were all equipped to have some words of wisdom that we could impart to someone in desperate need.

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  25. One of my sons lost 2 close friends to suicide when they were in their late teens…18 months apart. If only they had spoken to Samaritans…someone like you.

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  26. An ear to listen and not judge - a rare thing it seems to be these days. Thankyou to all the Samaritans, just knowing you are there has helped me more than once. x

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  27. Amazing people, they have my total respect.

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  28. The power of language, mingled with genuine humanity. An awesome combination.

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  29. My brother killed himself at the age of 21. He was so depressed and couldn't cope with being gay. We had indeed told him we didn't mind him being gay, but it was chewing him up. This was 1979, before it started to become acceptable to be gay. If only it had been later and the support was as it is now. Such a waste of a lovely man. SO much potential unrealized. Thanks to all the Sams workers for the caring that they do.

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  30. I have unbounded respect and reverence for the organisation. One of my nieces was one for several years, and she still misses it (family obligations etc)

    I tried to become one about 20 years ago, attending a recruiting session with something like 15 others which entailed a full day of groups and little workshops. At the end everyone was accepted for training, i.e. all save one - yours truly! Reason given was that at that time (and, in fact, ever since) my financial plight was causing me too much stress to enable me to appreciate the problems of others and give them verbal support. Maybe another time, I was told. Fair enough. I never tried again and I didn't and don't feel sore about it.
    But I most certainly do continue to hold respect for them and their priceless service..

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  31. Kindness and words from the heart matter. Sometimes we don't know how much what we say can impact another's life. In this case, it gave life to a soul who was lost.

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  32. Gosh... well, I wish our local Samaritans had such good volunteers. Earlier this year, in complete desperation and out of character, I emailed our local branch (myself and our adult son live with illness, disability and the constant reality of sudden death; which is very hard to cope with. Especially hard for my husband as, although he never complains, he is sole carer and driver)

    Whoever got my emails parroted things back - like, if I said " I'm so depressed and I can't cope" it came back as " you're depressed and can't cope" Very helpful!

    They asked if I was suicidal and I said yes, but I didn't feel emails were helping, but other than getting up in night to use phone so no-one heard, that was my only option. Anyway, that was that; they said I could contact them in the future if I wanted to!

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