Char­ity praised for sav­ing sui­ci­dal son

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

AMOTHER has thanked the Sa­mar­i­tans for sav­ing the life of her sui­ci­dal teenage son.

In a heart­felt let­ter sent to the Ex­press the woman said the con­ver­sa­tion be­tween her son and a vol­un­teer at the char­ity, which runs a helpline for peo­ple in emo­tional dis­tress, had prompted him to change his mind.

In a mov­ing con­clu­sion, the anony­mous writer signed off the let­ter as ‘a mother who was nearly not one’. Prais­ing the work of the char­ity she said she wanted her let­ter to ‘widen aware­ness of the strug­gles of young peo­ple’ and to spread the word that ‘no one is ever alone’.

She said: “A few months ago my son reached break­ing point and was in the process of tak­ing his own life. He was ashamed and wouldn’t turn to my­self or his fam­ily. In the fi­nal stages of his at­tempt he reached out, but not to us. He rang the Sa­mar­i­tans.

“It was that con­ver­sa­tion that he had with them that prompted him to re­con­sider his choice and act be­fore it was too late.

“My dis­be­lief came when the hos­pi­tal called me to tell me what had hap­pened. At that mo­ment my heart shat­tered into a thou­sands pieces.”

The woman said her son is re­cov­er­ing but still speaks to the Sa­mar­i­tans.

She added: “Other peo­ple’s sons and daugh­ters must feel the pres­sure of school work, bul­lies, money, re­la­tion­ships, feel­ing in­ad­e­quate and scared of fail­ing.

“My son found the Sa­mar­i­tans num­ber on Google by ac­ci­dent but it was that which saved his life.

“I think it is some­thing you can ed­u­cate peo­ple on as you have the means to reach many fam­i­lies or in­di­vid­u­als.

“To spread the word that no one is ever alone, that a stranger’s voice when you are in de­spair could be the key to help you crawl out.”

Phil Bor­rows, di­rec­tor of the Mac­cles­field branch of the Sa­mar­i­tans, said he was pleased vol­un­teers had helped the teenager.

He added: “We are al­ways grate­ful for recog­ni­tion for the work we do. Young lads have lots of is­sues but of­ten don’t want to talk about them.

“Our ser­vices, which run 24/7, in­clude the tele­phone helpline, email and face-to-face, are de­signed to lis­ten and of­fer words of sym­pa­thy and em­pa­thy. We don’t give ad­vice.”

There are 80 vol­un­teers at the Mac­cles­field branch on Bo­den Street, aged be­tween 20 and 80 years old and from all walks of life.

To get in­volved as a vol­un­teer call 01625 426000. For the Sa­mar­i­tans’ helpline call 08457 909090.

●● The Sa­mar­i­tans has been praised for sav­ing the life of a teenager in cri­sis

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