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DianaFromSamaritans43 karma

First of all, that sounds really terrible--it is so, so painful to lose a friend to suicide, and I'm sorry for your loss.

I think it can be easy to ask yourself those questions, or wish things could have been different. But to me, it sounds like you cared so much for your friends, and it's important to take stock of how you are feeling and how you are processing all of this. We have some resources for people who have lost a loved one to suicide, and I would definitely encourage you to take a look.

DianaFromSamaritans39 karma

Hmm, that's a tough question. There are definitely times when someone calls in with a story that feels extreme. But at the same time, they could very well be telling the truth, and we want to be able to take everyone at their word. Samaritans is based on being nonjudgmental and that means that we aim to listen to everyone's stories. So, we always take callers at face value.

DianaFromSamaritans38 karma

Great question! It can definitely vary among different hotlines, but here are some things about Samaritans:

  • Anyone can call or text us (including people who are not feeling suicidal).
  • We ask all of our callers/texters whether they are feeling suicidal (it's okay if you are not).
  • We aren't counselors and we don't give advice on our conversations, but you are free to talk about what you're going through--we will always be there to listen.

That's about it!

DianaFromSamaritans28 karma

Hi--I came back for a second to answer this. I have definitely spoken with people who are worried that if they say they are feeling suicidal, the police will show up at their door.

It sounds like you have been through so much, and we want to be there in those moments when you are suffering and feeling alone, and need someone to talk to.

We do sometimes speak with people about ways they can get through the night, or stay safe for the immediate future--but even those conversations are pretty rare. I think that if you called us, and told us the same thing that you just said, we would be there to listen to what you’re going through. As I mentioned in another comment, we wouldn’t give any advice or judgment, but we would be there to support you.

DianaFromSamaritans12 karma

I don't know how it compares to other organizations, but I felt like the training was pretty rigorous. I was definitely nervous before I started training that I might not know how to handle some situations, but there is a lot of time spent going over the various situations that might come up, and by the time I started taking calls I felt a lot more comfortable. There is always some kind of supervisor available to help in challenging situations, so that helps us feel more supported too.