Two ears, one mouth - Samaritans are looking for more volunteers

Two ears, one mouth - that’s all you need to be a listening volunteer with the Samaritans.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 10:00 am

You need to be able to listen more and speak less. Listen without judging.

Do you think that you would be able to do that? If so, Ballymena Branch of the Samaritans would love to hear from you, especially if you could volunteer to cover some of the night time hours when people often feel at their lowest.

Marie, director of Ballymena Samaritans said: “Samaritans aim is to prevent suicide by offering a listening ear, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

;Samaritans is free to call on 116 123, any time from any phone

“The number of deaths by suicide in each Council area is a worry. Hopefully, an increased focus on suicide prevention will reduce the number of deaths by suicide. I would encourage everyone to talk about their mental health. Everyone needs someone to talk to, could you be that person?”

When you become a Samaritans volunteer you are accepted for who you are, rather than as a parent/son/daughter or sibling, or an employee or a colleague. It doesn’t matter whether you are clever, LGBTQ+ or straight, rich or poor, able bodied or not, religious or not. You are accepted for who you are, and your ability to relate to people who need someone to listen.

So, what does it take to volunteer with Samaritans? Qualifications are not a requirement – life experience and the ability to listen without judging are more important. Your commitment would be just a few hours a week. You need to be over 18, but there is no upper age limit. Comprehensive training is provided and ongoing support and mentoring is always available. Ongoing support is given within the branch from the other volunteers and the Director. You are never left alone to cope without having someone to listen to you. So, if you would like to find out more about what it takes to become a volunteer or what the Samaritans do visit www.samaritans.org or e-mail [email protected] for more information.

Ballymena Samaritans also has a strong outreach team, going out to schools, clubs, or any organisation that invites Samaritans to talk about the work they do. As the new “normal” returns if you would like to find out more about the service provided by Samaritans or if you would like a representative to come to your group, business, church or school, get in touch. Talks are tailored to suit different groups and ages. Contact the Ballymena branch on 028 2564 4846 between 7.30pm and 10pm or e-mail [email protected]