Volunteers sought for Samaritans’ office

KHAO LAK: The legacy of emotional trauma left by the tsunami is generally unquantified, but perceived to be widespread throughout the affected communities.

In response to this, the Samaritans of Thailand is seeking volunteers to man telephones, answering calls from people in distress at the Samaritans’ office at the Mental Health Recovery Center in Khao Lak.

The Samaritans have also asked Thai Together, the umbrella organization for many of the aid and welfare projects in the region, to help locate volunteers.

The Samaritans of Thailand – there are currently branches in Bangkok and Chiang Mai – is part of the international Samaritans network, which offers support to people in crisis.

Founded in 1953 in London by Chad Varah, the organization has provided a non-judgmental service to millions of depressed people around the world, simply listening to them as they talk through their problems, but not, the organization stresses, offering counseling or advice.

The Samaritans believe that offering people the opportunity to talk about their problems in confidence, and without prejudice, can alleviate despair and suicidal feelings.

It is hoped that the Khao Lak office will open on July 9, which is, incidentally, the 27th anniversary of the founding of the Samaritans of Thailand.

The Samaritans of Khao Lak hopes to find both English- and Thai-speaking volunteers, especially those Thais fluent in dialects local to the affected areas, to man its telephone lines for about four or five hours a day.

Those who feel that they can help should call K. Paweena of the Samaritans of Khao Lak at Tel: 076-423273-4 or 09-1394490, or Fax: 076-420676.

Alternatively, they can contact Thai Together by calling Tel: 04-0534283, 076-322064-8 ext 107, 076-322115 or 09-9932322.

Phuket News

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