Crisis Hotline/Listening Line

Notes:

  • Hotline/Listening line coverage may vary depending on the availability of volunteers within a 24 hour period.
  • You don’t have to be suicidal to call a Samaritan volunteer. Sometimes you just need someone to listen.
  • All calls are free and confidential within the agency.

Anticipated benefits for our callers

  • Callers will have access to free, universal support, without regard to their physical/behavioral health or ability to pay.
  • New callers will have access to a lifetime of support with the option of becoming daily supported callers.
  • Callers will have crisis and regular support when professional and/or family support is not available.
  • Non-judgmental befriending program practices will not interfere with medical or behavioral health case- management plans.
  • Befriending will provide respite to family members/care givers of the chronically emotionally or physically ill.
  • Samaritans will monitor caller referral to professional medical/behavioral health services to demonstrate and advocate the need for greater medical/mental health services.
  • Upon request, Rhode Islanders in need or those seeking to help others will have access to our list of RI licensed medical/mental health facility services via telephone referral or web site referral.

How would you best describe the Hotline/Listening Line?

The Samaritan’s 24 Hour Confidential Hotline/Listening Line has trained volunteers since 1977 to use non-judgemental, non-religious befriending skills to help callers of all ages who are hopeless, alone, suicidal or seeking information to help a family member or friend.

Our line is a self-help model. Callers in need of someone to listen choose to call our line.

There is no formal caller-agency/volunteer relationship. We provide volunteer befriending and listening. We do not provide professional counseling or case management. Often times, however, talking to a Samaritan can be the gateway to professional care. If you talk to a Samaritan volunteer, maybe you will then feel comfortable talking to a licensed medical or mental health professional.

In addition to listening, how can a Samaritan volunteer help?

Upon request of a caller, our volunteers can call E-911 (see below: What if a call is an emergency?) or can help provide the name and local emergency telephone number for an acute care hospital or community mental health center where licensed professionals can provide additional assessment, services and support.

When I call, will I be required to provide any information about myself?

We do not require callers in need of befriending or our hotline volunteers to provide their names or any identifying information. We do not have caller ID. All befriending calls are anonymous and confidential within the agency unless a caller asks a volunteer to call Emergency-911 on his/her behalf.

Who calls the Samaritans?

People from all walks of life and of all ages-no matter the issue. We are there to listen to people in crisis or who have recovered. We are there for persons calling because they are concerned for a loved one or friend. We are there to listen to the caregiver. Caregivers are welcomed to give our number to a loved one or friend so they may have some respite from being a caregiver. We are there to listen to someone experiencing loss or grief. We are there to listen when it seems noone else cares. Some people call once, some call for a short time, and others call for a lifetime. Some people call to say they are having a good day.

Do I have to be suicidal to call?

No. Samaritan volunteers are there to provide friendship to people in need of someone to listen no matter their reason for calling.

What happens when you call?

The Samaritan volunteer will say, “Samaritans, can I help you?” “Are you suicidal?” We ask the suicide question to determine if you would like us to call 911. If the answer is no, the volunteer is there to listen.

How long are the calls?

That’s up to the caller, the volunteer and the situation. Most callers understand we receive hundreds of calls each month and volunteers need to be attentive and available to as many people as possible.

How often can I call?

You can call as often as needed. Again, however, most callers understand we receive many calls throughout the day and volunteers need to help as many people as possible.

Will The Samaritans trace my call?

No. All calls are anonymous and confidential within the agency.

What if a call is an emergency?

We strongly suggest you call 911 directly. However, with a caller’s permission, name, address and telephone number, we can call Emergency 911. Emergency 911 will send local police, fire, or medical emergency assistance.

What is the hotline number?

You can reach The Samaritans at (401) 272-4044 or toll free in Rhode Island at (800) 365-4044.