About Us

Nationwide Emotional Support
Connect and communicate because we CARE

About Us

Befrienders India was registered in November 1992 and is the nodal body which coordinates the activities of national helplines or member centres, that are working towards suicide prevention.

There are currently 9 centres spread across India and situated in Chennai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Kochi, Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, New Delhi, Pondicherry, and Secunderabad. All these centres offer volunteer befriending through Personal/ Telephonic/ Postal interaction.

Our Well wishers

There are more direct / indirect donors and well- wishers, whose support enables us to serve at the grassroots level.

Background and Origin

Suicide is an extreme form of expressing one’s feeling of depression, loneliness and helplesslness. This translates to the conclusion that, “life is not worth living”. Unfortunately this expression is not understood and felt by many. Emotional support offered with warmth and understanding at the time of personal crisis might avert the thought of suicide. To provide this unconditional timely support through the use of volunteer befriending,Befrienders International was established in 1974. Initially started as The Samaritans Movement in the year 1953 to serve depressed and suicidal people through volunteer befriending in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, it was subsequently expanded across other countries through Befrienders International.

There are currently over 350 centers affiliated to Befrienders International worldwide in around 45 countries with a work force consisting of around 40,000 volunteers providing care and support to the depressed and suicidal people. The main aim of the centers is to give emotional support to people when they are suicidal. The centers also alleviate misery, loneliness, despair and depression by listening to anyone who feels they have nowhere else to turn. The people who run the centers are volunteers called befrienders who are specially trained. The work is non-political and non-religious, and volunteers do not try to impose their convictions on anyone. They simply listen. The information of any individual coming in contact with a center - whether by telephone, letter, email or in a face-to-face meeting is kept strictly confidential; anything and everything that the person shares a befriender. If some callers choose to remain anonymous, they can and we maintain it that way.

Voluntary Befriending

Befrienders India offers volunteer befriending. Befrienders India is manned by around 300+ dedicated volunteers offering a combined 1000 hours per week to help their fellow human beings without any expectations or personal rewards. They offer their time and themselves, so that the victims could vent out their feelings to them. The volunteers having basic qualities of warmth, tolerance and understanding are carefully selected and undergo preparatory courses before taking up volunteering services through us. They are also provided regular ongoing training sessions to help them assist people under emotional stress.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Funds are required to drum up publicity and awareness about the availability of such services to those who need them in time. Organizing and sensitizing society through regular training sessions and seminars across the country to detect signs of stress and emotional outbursts in the early stages respond adequately.

Publicity : Publicity by the centres needs to be carried out in a sustained manner so that there is awareness of the service in times of crisis.

Training : Fresh batches of volunteers need to be trained as well as regular on going training of existing volunteers’ needs to be conducted. Gatekeepers of society, like teachers, nurses, police personnel and other N.G.Os need to be trained to be sensitive to signs of emotional crisis in their wards and how to respond adequately to such situations.

Awareness : To run awareness programmes for schools, colleges, women groups, employees etc., to make the general public aware that emotional support is as important as social and material support.

Make a Donation

We welcome donations to Befrienders India.

You could make your contribution through cheque, DD.

Please email treasurer@befriendersindia.net with the details of your donation so we can ensure the money is directed appropriately.

Donation through e transation,bank details herewith;

Befrienders Charter

Aim of the network

The aim of the National network (Befrienders India) is to encourage the development of effective support services, and by sharing information and working together improve our ability to:

  • ensure maximum access for callers to appropriate emotional support services
  • demonstrate effective service policy and practice
  • share information
  • offer mutual support
  • influence policy both internally and externally
  • encourage appropriate research.

Mission

As member centres our mission is:

  • to provide confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide, and
  • to share information and work together, for greater efficacy.

Vision

Our vision is for a society in which fewer people die by suicide, and where people are able to explore their own feelings, and acknowledge and respect the feelings of others.

Values

Our values are based on these beliefs:

  • The importance of having the opportunity to explore difficult feelings.
  • That being listened to, in confidence and accepted without prejudice, can alleviate despair and suicidal feelings.
  • That everyone has the right to make fundamental decisions about their own life, including the decision to die by suicide (the application of which is dependent on the local context and legal system).

Key common principles of Member centres

  • The primary purpose of centres is to provide emotional support to people who are suicidal, or in general distress.
  • Centres are mainly resourced by volunteers..
  • Anonymity and confidentiality are respected.
  • Centres are non-political and non-sectarian, and volunteers do not seek to impose their own convictions on anyone.
  • Volunteers are selected, trained, mentored and supported by other experienced volunteers and any necessary relevant professional experts.
  • Where appropriate, callers may be invited to consider seeking professional help in addition to the emotional support offered by the centre.
  • We are mutually supportive and committed to sharing information with fellow member centres, and participating in processes and activities of the network.