Maria Fowler, Talk To Us campaignMaria Fowler, of The Only Way is Essex fame, is helping support Samaritans’ national awareness day, Talk To Us, which takes place later this week.

Having recently called Samaritans herself, Maria has first-hand experience of the value of talking. She is now helping to raise awareness of its service for other people struggling to cope.

Samaritans is a fantastic source of support, I only wish I’d got in touch earlier. Talking to them really helped. It was like having a non-judgemental friend, something that is hard to come by in real life. It is so important that people talk about their problems, and if things are getting too much, Samaritans is available, any time of the day or night. – Maria Fowler

To mark Samaritans’ National Awareness Day, Talk to us, over 60 events are taking place across the UK and ROI, as the charity holds its largest conversation.

It’s hugely important to talk about your problems, and Samaritans is here for anyone going through a tough time. Our National Awareness Day, Talk to us, is the ideal way to remind people that they can contact us round the clock, every single day of the year. You can email, as well as phone, or you can visit one of our 201 branches to speak to a volunteer face to face. – Catherine Johnstone, Samaritans’ CEO

This year Samaritans celebrates its 60th anniversary of founder, Prebendary Dr Chad Varah CH CBE, taking the first call to the service on 02 November 1953.

Talk To Us takes place on Wednesday, 24 July.

Read More: The Samaritans 60th Anniversary with The Prince of Wales

In 1974 ATV promoted the work of The Samaritans when daytime serial Crossroads ran a long running story which saw the regular paraplegic character of Sandy Richardson – Played by the late Roger Tonge – join the orgranisation as a regular helper. The work the volunteers carry out was portrayed across a number of years.

CMaria Fowler on This Morningrossroads was also the first drama programme in the UK to put a telephone helpline on the end of the programme to offer support to viewers affected by thoughts of suicide when a character contemplated taking such action.

The BBC also produced a series called The Befrienders starring Megs Jenkins which was based on Monica Dickens’ novel of the same name.

Visit Samaritans’ interactive map to find out about the different events happening across the UK and Ireland on Wednesday here. You can get involved in the campaign by simply texting ‘SUPPORT’ to 70123* to make a £3 donation.

Earlier this month Maria Fowler talked to ITV’s This Morning about her battle with depression:

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