News & Events/News/Samaritans turn 50!

Samaritans turn 50!

8:19pm 27/07/2017

For over 50 years The Samaritans has been helping Western Australians by providing 24/7 anonymous crisis line support.

Last month we gathered together our current volunteer team, past volunteers, current and present Board Members and our supporters to celebrate this special anniversary.


The Samaritans was started in WA by David Woodroffe in July 1967 and our journey has been an amazing one, with a common bond and energy shared by all who have been involved.

In 2017, The Samaritans remains a volunteer driven organization with the vision of ‘A society in which fewer people die by suicide’.

We continue to do this through our crisis support line by offering non-religious, non-judgmental and confidential emotional support to the lonely, despairing, suicidal or those at risk of becoming so.

In 2017, The Samaritans in WA:

  • Has over 133 volunteers, with an additional 18 to qualify during July 2017.
  • Has linked up with the New Zealand and Tasmanian Samaritans, meaning if someone calls us it goes through to the next available phone in one of the six Samaritans Centres. There are over 270 Samaritans volunteers in the six centers, so we can handle a huge volume of calls at any given time.
  • Receives over 130,000 calls per year on average. This is just under 11,000 per month or 1 every 4 minutes.
  • 13.7% of our callers, who were asked the suicide question, indicated thoughts, or worse, of suicide.
  • In total 1 in 13 of our callers are considering suicide.

Our work continues to play an important role here in Western Australia. If you, or you know of anyone who needs to talk to someone confidentially, The Samaritans is here to listen. You can phone our 24/7 Crisis Line on 135 247.

The most loving act we can do for another person is to give them our full attention.” David Woodroffe, MSW (Samaritans WA Founder).

(Back Row L-R) John McKechnie(1973-1975) Kevin Crombie (2010-15) Ashley Towns (2004-07) Mike Godrich (2015-Present) Dennis Sheppard (1991-1993) Pam McKenna (1989-1991)

(Front Row) Wendy Fenton (1996-1999) Diane Newall (2003-2004) Justine Colyer (2007-2010) Charlotte Keay (1981-85) Alex Metropolis (1985-1989) David Woodroffe (1967-1971 & 1977-80)

The Samaritans wouldn’t be here without the generous support of individuals, the wider community and businesses. The donations we receive allows us to provide crucial 24/7 Anonymous Crisis Support to Australians dealing with feelings of depression, sadness, loneliness and despair.