The Samaritan organisation was established in the 1950’s by Reverend Chad Varan. He decided to form this organisation to be able to help people who were thinking of committing suicide.

He believed that if the people who wanted to kill themselves had a friend to talk to  on the phone, they would probably decide not to commit suicide. People who work as Samaritans don’t earn any money. They are volunteers. They are carefully selected and trained so that the highest standards of caring and befriending are achieved.

A Samaritan has to be trained because he has to learn how to deal with a person who is in  psychological distress since a person who wants to commit suicide cannot think clearly, feels lonely, left-out and hopeless.

A Samaritan should know about how to put such a person at ease and make him change his mind. He ought to be able to persuade the person on the other end of the line that killing himself is not the only solution to his  problem, that there are alternatives in life, and that life is worth living in spite of all the difficulties.

They have to be very careful while talking to the people. They never indoctrinate them or preach at them; that is, they never tell them what they must or should do. In countries where the telephone is readily available, i.e., where  finding a phone is not a problem, a telephone number which is easily remembered is advertised so that people who are likely to take their own lives can find someone to talk to easily.

The Samaritans have developed a very careful publicity programme because they want the public to know that there are people who care and  are ready to help them 24 hours a day. They want every person who is about to commit suicide to be able to contact them. In their publicity programmes they tell that the phone calls are always confidential.

In other words, the phone calls are kept secret and the Samaritans will not tell other people about the calls and no one else, except for them, will  know about the situation. This organisation has been very successful so far.

Between 1983 and 1994, the suicide rate in England and Wales fell from 12 to 7 per 100,000.



Mark the best choice.
1. A person who
commits ‘suicide’ (line 5) .

a) kills a person c) kills himself b) phones other people d) is a Samaritan

2. A person who is in ‘psychological distress’ (line 10) .

a) doesn’t feel hopeless b) always phones a Samaritan c) has to persuade other people d) might think of taking his life
3. When you ‘preach’ (line 17) at someone, you .

a) help that person to do certain things b) let that person do whatever he likes

c) never indoctrinate that person d) tell him what he should do
4. When something is ‘readily available’ (line 19), it

a) is there for your use c) is difficult to find b) does not exist d) is usually a problem

5. Something that is ‘confidential’ (line 27) is .

a) printed in publicity programmes b) known by everybody

c) not discussed with other people d) very successful

6. The aim of the Samaritans is to .

a) select and train people who want to commit suicide b) make distressed people believe that life is worth living

c) find volunteers to work for them d) think clearly and not to feel lonely

7. In order to be a Samaritan, you .

a) need to receive special training

b) need to be able to find someone to talk to

c) don’t have to have experience in dealing with people

d) ought to have your name written in publicity programmes
8. Which of the following would you not see in a newspaper advertisement for the Samaritans?

*v -an call us any time you want.”

b) “We care about you.”

c) “Don’t feel lonely, you’ve got a friend on the other end of the line.”

d) “Our phone number is 781 4356.”

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