Samaritans 24-Hour Crisis Hotline (212) 673-3000

With the goal of helping people in distress and preventing suicide, Samaritans free, confidential, 24-hour emotional support and crisis response hotline service is available on an immediate and ongoing basis to help people who are dealing with every kind of problem, illness, trauma or loss as they try to cope with their difficulties.

The hotline provides those in crisis (as well as the people who care for them) with a 24-hour safety net that can be used to fill-in service gaps, bridge between appointments and act as a source of ongoing emotional maintenance for those with chronic emotional issues.

“I have called the Samaritans Hotline, not because I was suicidal, but because I needed someone to talk to, someone who would understand my feelings of helplessness and sadness. Samaritans was very helpful to me. They listened to me with great care, and treated me kindly.” A Caller to Samaritans

Confidentiality is The Key

Samaritans hotline is completely confidential and anonymous, and, unlike some other hotline services, does not utilize caller ID or call tracing, making it a safe place to turn for people who are afraid to go someplace else or feel they have no place else–due to social, cultural, economic or other reasons.

When needed, Samaritans is there. At 2 o’clock in the morning, after attending a counseling session, while seeking professional help, after exhausting available clinical services or after therapist hours.

Responds to Every Kind of Problem

Samaritans hotline has responded to over 1 million calls since the New York center was established in 1983. We have found that people utilize our emotional support and crisis response services as an element of their own attempts to cope or deal with all types of personal and emotional problems or as part of a treatment or recovery plan.

Many callers have been referred to Samaritans to help them cope with depression, anxiety, feelings of panic, domestic violence, sexual assault, bullying, alcohol and substance abuse, a painful loss, post-traumatic stress, gender issues or for less specific but just as painful difficulties such as divorce, unemployment, immigration issues, etc.

Why People Call Samaritans Hotline

No matter what the cause, people call Samaritans hotline for countless reasons including:

– feeling scared, overwhelmed, depressed or isolated
– having something they’re afraid to talk about to anyone else
– being unable to afford help or professional treatment
– needing to talk with someone they know will keep it confidential
– needing a place to turn between counseling or treatment sessions
– feeling uncomfortable talking to family, friends, clergy or health professionals
– feeling on the verge of some form of self-destructive behavior or suicidal act

Volunteers Befriend Those in Crisis

When people who are in distress or crisis call Samaritans, morning, noon and night they reach a caring hotline volunteer who will take them seriously, listen to what they are thinking, feeling and experiencing without giving them unwanted advice or expressing their own personal judgements.

Samaritans over 100 volunteers come from diverse multi-cultural backgrounds and go through an intensive training where they focus on: effective crisis communication; the key behaviors in providing emotional support; identifying warning signs, risk and protective factors; assessing suicide risk; exploring the individual’s current situation, available resources and, when necessary, potential safety or emergency planning.

Research Documents Hotline Effectiveness

Hotline research has found that people in crisis receive palpable benefits when they talk to a hotline counselor trained in active listening. In particular, two studies funded by U.S. Department of Health & Human Resources have documented the effectiveness of hotlines in increasing protective factors for a person in distress and reducing their suicide ideation.

The “Evaluation of Crisis Hotline Outcomes” by Madelyn Gould, PhD, Professor in Psychiatry & Public Health, Columbia University found “a significant reduction in [the emotional state of callers] from beginning to end” of a call and that callers’ emotional state and level of suicidal ideation continued to improve several weeks after their call was completed.

“A Silent Monitoring Study of Telephone Help…” by Brian Mishara, PhD, Director, Centre for Research and Intervention on Suicide & Euthanasia, University of Quebec, found that “people in need are calling hotlines” and a “supportive approach with good contact and directive style provides the best outcomes.”

Using Samaritans Hotline As A Referral

With its immediate accessibility to personalized individual support, Samaritans hotline provides needed support between counseling sessions and other appointments, a transition from one form of care or treatment to another as well as a service that can provide ongoing emotional support at the time of a person’s crisis and through the hours, days, weeks and months of their distress, trauma and recovery.

The Samaritans hotline is also often used as a referral by clinicians and other mental health providers who seek a service that can provide clients who may be hesitant or resistant to utilize professional services with free and immediate access to (what they might consider) a less-threatening form of care and support than those offered by government agencies or other programs.

The hotline’s anonymity and confidentiality also makes it a safe point of entry for those people in distress who have not utilized support services in the past or have fears about providing their personal information.

To learn more about using the hotline as a referral to help the individuals you and/or your staff serve, click here.

Samaritans Completely Confidential Hotline
When You Need Someone to Talk to 24/7
(212) 673-3000

Free, immediately accessible 24-hour emotional support in complete confidence.
24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Anonymous. Confidential.