The Samaritans is a volunteer-driven, independent, non-religious organization with charitable status established in Hong Kong in 1974 to provide unconditional emotion support to those in distress that may also lead to suicide.
The Samaritans believes that having immediately available confidential emotional support for anyone suffering from depression or with suicidal tendencies will support those in need. Another core belief is that for those people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide, being listened to in confidence and accepted without prejudice can mean the difference between life and death.
Our core service is the 24/7/365 multilingual telephone hotline that anyone can call for nonjudgmental unconditional emotional support. All these phone calls are answered by our team of committed and passionate volunteers who are rigorously trained and equipped with necessary empathic listening skills, to give our callers a consistently high standard of emotional support. Last year The Samaritans received over 30,000 calls averaging 83 calls per day.
The Samaritans has an excellent track record for community outreach and public education. We have already established the following outreach programmes serving different populations:
(a) the youth and their peers and families, via the Young Samaritans Peer Support Programme (YSPSP);
(b) the elderly, via the Supporting The Aged Responsibly (STAR) Programme; and
(c) friends and families who have lost a loved one to suicide, via a regular support group.
These programmes serving key population groups have been well received by the audience and well acclaimed by professionals involved. Recently, with the donation from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, we are able to have professional staff members running the “Life is Beautiful Intergeneration Suicide Prevention Programme” and they play a key role in organizing and leading outreach programmes, events, talks and other activities.
The Samaritans have been actively responding to requests from the general public, mainly schools, universities, community centres and deliver speeches, sharing sessions, and workshops for general educational purposes that have been well received. In 2018-19, while we celebrated our 45th Anniversary, we held 54 talks, workshops, training sessions and school activities, reaching a total number of 5,244 people of all walks of life.