The Power of Listening

Beginning in 1977, Boston College students have volunteered with Samaritans through the PULSE program. In 2007, these volunteers shared what they learned through the power of nonjudgmental listening.

Samaritans has always been a place for people to connect with one another. Over the years, we’ve found different ways to do that.

At the start of the pandemic, we shifted our 24/7 Helpline operations to be remote. We enabled our enthusiastic volunteers to take calls and texts from their own homes, and made changes to our technology to allow for a smooth transition. But no matter how it happens, the core of our work has been the same: Helping people support one another through compassion and nonjudgmental listening.

Just being able to talk to someone and probably changing their day, their week, their month, their year, it’s an amazing feeling, and that’s exactly what keeps me coming back.

Each day, people who struggle with loneliness, depression, or suicidal feelings turn to Samaritans’ 24/7 Helpline for nonjudgmental support. On the other side of a phone call or text message, they find a caring listener ready to provide compassion. Few things can be as rewarding as knowing that you were there when someone needed you most.