Samaritans To Launch New Free To Caller Number
Samaritans will be launching a new free-to-caller number (116 123) as their main number on 22 September 2015. This number will be free to call from landlines, mobiles and payphones. It will enable more people who may be struggling to cope to access this vital service, which provides round the clock support, every single day of the year.
The new 116 123 number will replace Samaritans’ national UK number, 08457 90 90 90. Anyone who calls the old number will now hear a message telling them that they can now call Samaritans free of charge on 116 123. People calling from a dedicated Samaritans phone (or any phone that is pre-programmed to dial 0845 90 90 90) will still have the option to stay on the line and be connected to a volunteer.
With the launch of 116 123, more people will be able to access this service even if they are unable to afford the cost of a phone call or have run out of minutes or credit on their mobile phone. The 116 123 number does not show up on phone bills, which also means that callers will no longer have to worry that other members of their household might notice the Samaritans number on the bill.
116 123 is a pan-European number reserved for helplines offering emotional support. It is operated by Samaritans in the UK and Republic of Ireland. The number was successfully launched in the Republic of Ireland early last year and resulted in a large increase in calls, which shows that cost is a barrier to many people who want to call us.