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Lancaster Samaritans want you to Shush! and Listen


Lancaster Samaritans premises at 21 Sun Street
Lancaster Samaritans premises at 21 Sun Street
Chris Satori

Samaritans' annual month-long awareness campaign Talk to Us in July encourages people from all over the UK to take a few minutes to improve their listening skills by following the charity’s simple SHUSH! listening tips.

Every six seconds, someone in the UK and Ireland contacts Samaritans, and every 90 minutes in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, someone takes their own life.

Samaritans believes that listening is crucial to helping people find their way through their problems, and the charity would like to encourage people to seek help early, rather than when they reach a crisis.

Samaritans Listening Tips or S-H-U-S-H:

  • Show you care: focus just on the other person, make eye contact, put away your phone
  • Have patience: it may take time and several attempts before a person is ready to open up
  • Use open questions: that need more than a yes/no answer, & follow up e.g. ‘Tell me more’
  • Say it back: to check you’ve understood, but don’t interrupt or offer a solution
  • Have courage: don’t be put off by a negative response and, most importantly, don’t be afraid to leave silence

Good listening is hard but Samaritans believes it essential in bringing down the number of suicides. Jenny Dighton, Director of Lancaster and District Samaritans said:

“Suicide is everybody’s business and we can all do our bit to encourage people to be better listeners and reach out for help if they need to. We’re a culture of people who love to give advice, love to give opinions and love the sound of our own voices.  But this year we’re asking people all over the country to SHUSH! and take time out to listen to others.  Sixty years of Samaritans’ expertise has taught us that just listening is the greatest gift you can give to somebody, and that it can save lives.

“Samaritans’ aim is to bring down the high numbers of suicides in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. It wants to encourage people to ask for help early if they are struggling, rather than waiting until they reach a crisis.”

If something is troubling you, you can call the Samaritans on 01524 61666 or 116123 (Free 24-hour number). You don't have to be suicidal to call. 
You can find out more about the Samaritans, nationally and locally, at