Monday, 7 July 2014

I've got your number.


Today I received my Samaritan number. It's an identifying number that all Samaritans get when they successfully finish their six month probationary period.
The number means that you are deemed to be an objective listener. A person with no axe to grind when answering a phone to a distressed, overwhelmed , mentally ill and possibly suicidal caller who needs contact with another human being.
Most of us are lucky enough to have our own objective ears when we are going through a hard time.
A friend who will know how much sympathy to furnish, how much plain speaking is required to help and how much clarification is needed for the murky clouds of upset  to be shifted away.
To us, the majority, it is almost unfeasible to think that some people have no one to turn to when their black dog surfaces.
Yet, for whatever reason, so many people don't have that friend to lean on when things go to shit
And that is a huge crime in my book.


58 comments:

  1. you really are a kind man...

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    1. No I'm not...
      SAMS are in dire need of volunteers......our own branch is just hanging on in that regard.....
      All of us that have been good friends to our own loved ones may be able to support the charity in heir own way.

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  2. Congratulations, John! I would want you on the other end of the phone line if I was ever in dire circumstances. xox

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  3. Something I know I'd never be strong enough to do.
    Jane x

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  4. Congrats on your number.

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  5. I was about to say the same as Carol!

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  6. It is good to know what a difference you and those like you can make a difference in a life....congratulations.

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  7. Some people don't share their problems, friend or not.

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    1. Yes..... And it is those that suddenly may need the SAMs the most susie

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  8. Will you be in my lifeboat John?....we might drown but we'd go down hugging...xx

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  9. And thank goodness for those who feel called to be on the other end of the line. I don't think I could do it (or I would have tried before this), so I'm thankful for those who can.

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  10. Good for you, and time sure does fly!

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  11. Sometimes people do have friends but they don't want to talk to them, or they do and they don't hear what they want to hear or it gets misunderstood and doesn't help and then it gets worse. xx

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    1. True Rachel...
      Some people just need a " stranger on a train" x

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    2. Hang on - didn't the 'Stranger on the Train' try to arrange a mutual murder?

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    3. Yes. The Stranger on a Train murders the tennis player's wife so the tennis player can remarry. The stranger then expects the tennis player to murder the stranger's father. Or mother. I haven't seen it in a long time.

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    4. Oh yes I forgot........

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    5. You've just lost points on your number there. Tsk Tsk...

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    6. AND you've blown any credibility on your skills as a film reviewer... (X).

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  12. You are such a caring blessed soul! As I've said before, I wished I lived next door!!

    Oh, I got pretty hooked on the Walking Dead this weekend. I was glued to the TV. I like watching the marathons that way you don't have to wait a week to see what happens next. I watched it a few times when it first came on, but I couldn't quite get through all the blood and gore. I guess I am now desensitized to it…Bring it on!!!

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  13. I think it is good to have places like yours to help those in dire need. Some issues are too precious to the person to discuss with family or friends. An unbiased ear is always welcome, but not always easy to come by.

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  14. So many people and yet it is so easy to feel completely alone with nobody to turn to. Thank heavens there are good people like you around John. Keep up the good work sir!

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  15. You can feel alone in a room full of people can't you? Well done on completing the training John. I've had to put mine on hold for a while due to some health rubbish going on but fully intend to seek it out again as soon as I can. Their training is second to none and they are very desperate for volunteers.

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  16. Congratulations John - I can imagine you as a marvellous 'listening ear' and good knows there are a whole number of people out there who desperately need someone to talk to. It is easy in difficult times to think no one cares, no one understands. You - and countless others like you - are fulfilling a need. My brother, who died a long time ago, was also a Samaritan - and he got such a lot out of doing it - it does work both ways, doesn't it.

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  17. Congratulations John. I have now been with Lifeline (our equivalent to the Samaritans) for over sixteen years - and get so much more from it than I give. And we too are always desperate for volunteers.

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  18. You are an outstanding friend, John, whether it's online, over the telephone, or in person. I admit I haven't met you or spoken to you on the telephone, but sometimes one knows things without actually doing them.

    Love,
    Janie

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  19. The point of my blog entry was to really highlight the need of volunteers
    I really do believe that we all should volunteer for organisations such as SAMs
    I think that instead of community service... Everyone should do a stink in a community based charity........
    Of course they would have a choice to what suits them best... But EVERYONE should be obliged to take part

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    1. I agree.
      I also think this is true when people complain about ___ or ____. Then for pete's sake, volunteer to help ____ or ____. Stop posting your damn rants on FB and just do something about it!

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    2. Exactly ... But I think I am so lucky to have the time to do it

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  20. Well congratulations on getting your number John. In our darkest hours, maybe it needs the kindness if a stranger to restore our faith in mankind. I despair that so many of us feel isolated ~ I count myself lucky that I have family and work.

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  21. I've just filled in the volunteer form. I've had more than enough times when I needed someone to talk to and nobody was there or nobody cared so why not help someone else out

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    1. I'm going to an info session next Monday. I hope I have what it takes

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  22. I've never been able to fathom how one ends up with no family or support group at all. I know it happens, but I'm glad I've never had to negotiate life that alone. Sometimes, though, I can imagine that talking to a complete stranger is easier or more helpful. Also, I can't fathom going through life without feeling you've done *something* to give to those less fortunate. Bless yeh, John.

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    1. It happens so much more than we realise

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  23. I did a stint on the suicide hotline here in the States, until the tremouring began affecting my voice too badly. Now that the tremouring has calmed and my breath control has improved, I think I should get back to it....thank you for the timely reminder.
    And, yes, congratulations and thank you.

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  24. John,
    You are a lovely person. I feel like I have a friend in Wales just through reading your blog here in Nova Scotia.
    Thank you!

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    1. Jenny... You are a sweetheart... Do you live near Halifax?
      Just wondered if you know jimbo?

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    2. I live about 11/2 hours down the coast on a tiny seaside village called Broad Cove. My husband is a Londoner called Jim...does that count!
      J

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    3. Near enough
      Xxxxx

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  25. Congratulations, John.

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  26. comment on previous post....John, hat's off, man. Hell of a thing to do, I expect you're well-qualified. Admiration.

    Mike

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  27. Samaritans helped my son seek medical help for his depression. After an emergency admission to hospital for Suicidal Ideation he is now recovered and working with adults with mental health problems.
    A million thanks to all Samaritans out there.
    Susan x

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    1. Susan
      As you know SAMs rarely find out if any of their "interventions" work out for the caller
      It's nice to hear some did

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    2. Is there a way to thank them, without tying up the helpline?
      x

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  28. Well done John. Whoever gets you on the end of the line will be very lucky. xx

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  29. congratulations, john!

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  30. That is such a difficult job, John, but you are up to it. There are so many lonely, confused people out there and sometimes all they need is some kindness and understanding from another soul.

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  31. Not sure if my first reply got to you. Your blog has made me hope that john and Bear are ok. His last blog 'Casting Off' seemed a little final, he was looking for a new home and I hope he has found somewhere.

    Love your blog have never laughed so much at some of your daily escapades. Your dogs are utterly gorgeous and Trellawynd looks lovely and community spirited.

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  32. When lots of people still can't get the help they need from the underfunded mental health services, and they don't have any close friends they can confide in, the Samaritans do an absolutely vital job in helping people at the end of their tether. Good for you.

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  33. Hope that you don't mind, I copied your post for my brother who has also just finished his probationary period at SAM and now does sessions on his own. I think I now understand now why he wanted to do it. Thank you!
    ps 'claggle' is a brotherly nickname for a sister.

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