York Samaritans to aid with college welfare

The contact information for the York Samaritans will be rolled out on welfare posters in the coming weeks

Thomas Ron, the YUSU Disabled Students’ Officer, has announced that the contact information for the York Samaritans will be rolled out on welfare posters in the coming weeks.

The move comes after Hannah Paterson, the NUS Disabled Students’ Officer suggested that it would be a good idea for universities to make the charity’s contact details available to students.

The Samaritans offer a 24-7 confidential telephone service for anyone who wants to discuss the things that are troubling them in their lives, with phone lines being operated by volunteers trained to do deal with the whatever issues may arise.


Ron believes that offering students the option of a highly-professional charity will be hugely beneficial for students facing some very challenging times.
“The Samaritans are an excellent charity who do amazing work.
“In the high-stress environment that the University has, it is absolutely crucial that we allow students to have all necessary information and resources to ensure that they can talk to the right people and get the support they need.

“The University has excellent facilities, but the ones they have are short-staffed.”

All eight of the University’s colleges have agreed in principal to distribute the charity’s details to students.James and Vanbrugh will pass information on to students when they need it, whilst Goodricke, Alcuin, Wentworth and Halifax will be putting up Samaritans posters in the coming weeks.

Langwith will be putting the number on their wall posters. Elsewhere, Derwent College is yet to announce how they plan to publicise the charity.

Samaritans was established in 1952 and was the first 24 hour telephone helpline to be set up in the UK.

Other campus services include Nightline, a confidential student-run listening and information service and the University’s Open Door service, for mental health, emotional and psychological issues.

Additionally, there are other services which provide help for those experiencing a range of issues at university, including academic support.


  1. Once again no mention of the College Welfare Teams… They’re trained and on site – the tutor was a lot more help last year when I needed someone to talk to than a voice on the end of the phone. The University services such as CWTs can offer actual advice in terms of support for problems you encounter. The Samaritans only listen, which isn’t always what people want or need.

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  2. Just to clarify a few things. The agreement has been made with JCRCs (Student bodies within colleges) – not with Colleges themselves (parts of the University headed by provosts). “College Welfare Teams” consist of college tutors, deans / college officers and provosts / principals. CWTs have nothing to do with YUSU (appart from occasional discussions). It would be nice if reporters did a bit of basic research around the subject.

    Seems like a good idea in general: the more sources of support are advertised – the better. A bit perplexed why Samaritans (a nationwide general listening charity) are preferred to Nightline (a nationwide student-oriented and student-run listening charity with a well-established branch in York), but lets see how it works…

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  3. Nightline (and College Welfare) are great but they are not qualified to actually talk students out of ending their lives. They often do forward people to Samaritans anyway, this just seems like cutting out the middle man. Actually, this agreement has been made primarily with provosts and college officers, in that the talks were directly with them. College Welfare teams are amazing but they are ultimately signposts, and in high-pressure situations sometimes it is best to go straight to the Samaritans

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  4. The Samaritans are a listening service. They do not – or should not – offer any advice or suggestion on what a person should do. They do not exist to talk people out of suicide and are not trained to do so. The CWTs receive some basic training in this, and are told to contact 999 if a person is intent on committing suicide to get medical assistance. Besides being on the other end of a phone and a national organisation, Samaritans have no further training to CWTs and/or Nightline.

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