This week I’ve met with several Samaritans listening volunteers in person as well as over the phone. These interviews have been quite revealing and in large part provided me with the information that I had hoped they would.
In addition I have received more survey responses, and was pleasantly surprised to find emails from more listening volunteers expressing their interest in being interviewed. I hope to see them as soon as possible, as I’m aware that my remaining time will pass all too quickly!
Since last week I have also conducted more research on advertising techniques employed by Samaritans, and looked into their online presence via their website. There is currently considerable interest (and also controversy) around the role of social media platforms regarding the mental health of their users. Is it their role to look after their users, and would they go so far as to report a potentially at risk individual? I learned that Samaritans recently sought to expand its online presence via the use of an app called Samaritans Radar, which was employed on twitter to connect users who posted potentially worrying tweets (i.e. with phrases such as “depressed”, “so alone” or other related phrases) with friends who could in theory help. However the app was pulled late in 2014 due to serious concerns over privacy issues.
Though an interesting area, it has less to do with recruitment and more with Samaritans’ main aim. I will shortly be meeting with my supervisor with whom I hope to consolidate what I’ve gathered so far, and then produce my report detailing what I’ve found.
It will be a shame to have to leave Hereford again; though a small town, it is where I grew up and has a certain undeniable charm.