A UK phone hotline for the despairing.
According to the divine Gritchka, they were founded by Prebendary Chad Varah.
They always answer the phone after three rings, as they believe this makes people feel neither neglected nor pounced-upon, and always with the same words. Their phone number is 08457 90 90 90 in the UK, or 1850 60 90 90 in the Republic of Ireland.
Online, they can be found at http://www.samaritans.co.uk, and emailed at jo@samaritans.org. Emails are answered within 24 hours, by someone using the pseudonym 'Jo'.
Samaritans are all volunteers, and new ones are always needed. They are trained before taking on the job, and they are not allowed to give advice. Their primary function is to listen. At some point in every phone call, they are obliged to ask the caller if they are suicidal.
The Samaritans are a registered charity, number 219432.