‘When I had nowhere else to turn…’

“There was someone there who didn’t know who I was, wouldn’t judge me and I knew I could talk to in confidence.” Chesterfield Samaritans is one of 201 branches in the UK and Ireland providing emotional support, 24 hours a day, for people in distress, despair or contemplating suicide. Tom Blyth visited the team.

BEHIND the cheerful faces and the banter and bluster of everyday living, there often lie troubled hearts and souls, many feeling that their lives are unbearable. “When I tell people I’d considered taking my own life, they are always surprised,” says Des, who is one of the 5.2 million people who call Samaritans every year. “They say I must have been putting on a brave face as they had no idea I was feeling so low.