Thailand: The need for compassion when lives are on the line

February 20, 2015

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

The Bangkok Post

The Samaritans of Thailand crisis line is recruiting more volunteers than in previous years, thanks to a grant from Rotary International. Volunteers are carefully selected, and receive extensive training. “It’s a tough process because we deal directly with the lives of human beings,” said Trakarn Chensy, the agency’s director. The trainings teach volunteers to ask callers directly about their suicidal feelings, and to be empathetic without offering advice. The Samaritans hotline is available from noon to 10 p.m. every day, and callers sometimes have to wait. The Samaritans staff hope to expand the crisis line’s hours if they can secure sufficient funding. Unlike similar programs in the region, the Samaritans of Thailand receive no ongoing federal support.

Spark Extra! Read Preventing Suicide: A Global Imperative, a recent report by the World Health Organization that makes international recommendations for suicide prevention.