Talk to strangers hotline

Calling the Hotline - The Samaritans

Everybody Needs a Helping Hand 

Everybody needs someone to talk to at some point in their life, someone who will listen and take them seriously, no matter what the problem. When you do, Samaritans is there. Whether you are feeling depressed, overwhelmed, experiencing a crisis or thinking about suicide, Samaritans hotline volunteers will listen, without any judgment, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Samaritans is a safe place to call. We are completely confidential and do not use caller ID, so you can choose to remain anonymous if you wish. Samaritans is a non-religious, not-for-profit organization that has operated our crisis response hotline for 30 years in the NYC-Metropolitan area answering over 1 million calls. Call Samaritans if you need someone to talk to!

 Samaritans Crisis Response Hotline

When You Need Someone to Talk To
(212) 673-3000

Free, immediately accessible 24-hour emotional support
24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Anonymous. Confidential.

Samaritans is a ‘Safe Place’ to Turn

Samaritans free, non-religious 24-hour emotional support and crisis response hotline is available on an immediate and ongoing basis for people who are dealing with every kind of problem, situation, illness, trauma or loss and need someone to talk to. And, our caring, professionally trained volunteers will listen as you try to cope with your difficulties and stresses.

The hotline is completely confidential and anonymous and, unlike some other hotline services, Samaritans does not utilize caller ID or any form of call-tracing, making Samaritans a safe place to turn during a time of distress or crisis.

“It was like the turmoil of an ocean inside me…In the middle of the night when I didn’t have anyone to talk with, you were there…Thank you for being the bridge in the middle of the night.” A Caller to Samaritans

Responds to Every Kind of Problem

Over the last 30 years, Samaritans hotline has responded to over 1,000,000 calls from people dealing with every kind of issue and personal, emotional or health-related problem imaginable. This includes depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress, a dramatic loss, chronic or terminal illness, alcohol and substance abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, bullying, sexual identity issues, unemployment, etc.

Some of the issues people are dealing with are short-term, others last for a period of time and still others are ongoing aspects of an individual’s daily experience that he or she needs help coping with.

“I have called the Samaritans Hotline, not because I was suicidal, but because I needed someone to talk to, someone who would understand my feelings of helplessness, and sadness…They listened to me with great care, and treated me kindly.” A Caller to Samaritans

Why People Call Samaritans Hotline

Thousands of people have called Samaritans to talk about their relationships, their uncertainty about the future or where they are going. People call when they are experiencing feelings of depression, or anxiety, or emotional stress. People have discussed money issues, or difficulties at work, or with unemployment. Or a feeling of isolation, a recent loss, an addiction, or a traumatic experience. If you’re feeling suicidal, you can call us. If you’ve had a bad day, or an aching heart, you can call us. We’re here to talk, and to listen.

Every day, people call Samaritans for countless different reasons. Some call because they:

• feel scared or overwhelmed
• have something they’re afraid to talk about with anyone else
• are unable to afford help or professional treatment
• need to talk with someone between counseling or treatment sessions
• feel uncomfortable talking to family, friends, clergy or health professionals
• feel on the verge of some form of self-destructive behavioral or suicidal act and want help

“This is to thank all the volunteers at The Samaritans for helping me through a very trying week. I pray for you people daily to keep up the good work.” A Caller To Samaritans

What To Expect When You Call

When you call Samaritans you will be greeted by a warm and caring volunteer trained in active listening and providing emotional support who will ask how you are doing today and explore with you the thoughts and feelings you are having tied to what is going on in your life at the present time. He or she will also discuss with you the reason for your call and whatever challenges or difficulties you are facing and the anxieties or depressive feelings you are having without giving advice or expressing their own personal judgements.

Every caller to Samaritans–no matter what he or she says is their reason for calling–will be taken through a communications/risk assessment protocol to determine his/her current state of mind and degree of suicidal risk. When you call Samaritans, we ask if you are feeling suicidal.

Please note: Phone calls that are violent, threatening or abusive or where the caller is consistently unwilling or resistant to talk about his or her thoughts or feelings will be ended.

   Samaritans Crisis Response Hotline

When You Need Someone to Talk To
(212) 673-3000

Free, immediately accessible 24-hour emotional support
24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Anonymous. Confidential.



Talk on the phone with someone else stuck at home.

Runs on the iOS and Android app Dialup

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What is QuarantineChat?

Connecting isolated people

We simulate the magic of having a surprise conversation with someone—something that is becoming increasingly rare during the times of a viral epidemic.

Serendipitous conversations

Get weekly calls that pair you with another person in a one-on-one. Talk about anything: what you're cooking for dinner, your dreams, or the global economy.

It's totally free, worldwide

QuarantineChat calls happen over the internet through the app Dialup instead of the phone system, so they’re entirely toll-free. That's how we keep our costs low.

Featured in

I have listened to the voices and stories of strangers: a pastry chef, a drama teacher, a foreign-exchange student. Briefly, I understood what it was to be them – and they understood what it is like to be me.

Jessica Pan, The Guardian

The conversations were, for the most part, effortless, inconsequential. I didn’t know when they were going to come, and I didn’t know where they were going to go. When I hung up, I felt transported.

Devi Lockwood, The New York Times

How it works.

Once you sign up and choose your language preferences, you'll be subscribed to periodic calls. Your caller ID will always say "QuarantineChat" when your phone rings.

After a brief moment on hold, you'll match with another random person. You don't have to pick up if you're busy—your partner will be automatically matched with someone else. And you can join and leave the line whenever you'd like.

It's private. You use your phone number to sign up for Dialup, but your matches will only ever see your username.

All calls are end-to-end encrypted.

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Our policies

We do not tolerate hatred or jokes about suffering.This is also not a place to seek or give medical help.Please be kind and conscientious.

About the project.

We created QuarantineChat as a response to the coronavirus causing people in cities to be in quarantine, isolating humans from each other. While people can still talk to their friends and family virtually, the experience of spontaneously talking to a stranger is now missing from many of our lives.

Whether the virus has affected you, or you're worried, or you live in the woods—your phone might ring and connect you to another interesting person you should meet. COVID-19 is not a lighthearted matter, but we hope this project brings people moments of joy in an otherwise dark time.

QuarantineChat was created by artists Danielle Baskin and Max Hawkins who also created Dialup. who have stayed in touch over the phone through random calls for the last two years.

Common Questions

Does this work on a landline or non-smartphones?

Sorry, right now QuarantineChat only works through the iOS or Android app, Dialup. We don't use phone numbers as calls occur over the internet. We might integrate with landlines and non-smartphones eventually!

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Works on iOS and Android

Issues signing up? Contact [email protected].

90,000 Russian prisoners: how to find, how to find out about captivity, phone hotline of the Ministry of Defense in Ukraine, 2022 |

Maxim Daulov went missing on March 26


"Thank God he didn't kill anyone, that's why he's alive." Such a message from the Ukrainian number was received by Ksenia Daulova from St. Petersburg. The Ministry of Defense hotline kept telling her that her husband was missing.

"Thank God he didn't kill anyone, so he's alive." Such a message was received from a Ukrainian number by Ksenia Daulova from St. Petersburg, Fontanka writes. The Ministry of Defense hotline kept telling her that her husband was missing.

His family lost contact with Maxim Daulov on March 26. Contract serviceman Maksim regularly traveled to exercises, including in December last year, in the Kursk region. And in February 2022, a couple of days after Russia recognized the independence of the DPR and LPR, he told his wife that he might have a longer business trip.

Maxim Daulov and his colleagues entered the territory of Ukraine on March 3 from the Belgorod region as part of a convoy. A month later, on April 2, his wife Xenia received a call from a Ukrainian number.

And then a text message came from the same number. Xenia was written by a stranger.

“It was someone from the Ukrainian military,” says Ksenia Daulova. “The meaning was: thank God that he didn’t kill anyone, so he is alive.”

The next day, Xenia received another message asking if she would “talk” with her husband. The unknown person noted that this should be done “without tears, panic and unnecessary questions.” This time, Maxim reported that he had been in captivity for about a week, and asked him to inform his command about this. As an argument, a video with her husband was sent to Xenia's messenger.

- I passed this information on to his military unit, the commander for political work. In part, I was warned that the Ukrainians could ask for a ransom, but there were no demands for money,” the woman says. - On the third day, April 4, I was asked again if I would talk to Maxim. He called again, we talked for a couple of minutes. After the conversation, they wrote to me that everything was fine with him, he was lucky that he got to these military men, no one beats him, he eats with them and sleeps warmly. And after that - complete silence until 19April. Then I got a call from the Red Cross, they said that they talked with my husband, and verbally conveyed a message from him. I realized that it was him, because the message mentioned the affectionate nickname that we call our son at home.

Ministry of Defense hotline: +7 (495) 498–43–54, +7 (495) 498–41–01.

According to Xenia, she was advised to wait and do nothing. At first, Ksenia told only her parents and Maxim's sister about what had happened. The mothers-in-law decided not to say anything yet, as she has heart problems.

On May 11, Xenia got a call again. The caller said that he was a Ukrainian journalist and asked if Ksenia agreed to record and then publish the conversation with her husband. Then he began to ask the woman assertive questions about her attitude to the events in Ukraine, but Ksenia replied that the interlocutor was trying to answer for her. Maxim asked to be included in the list of prisoners. A long, almost 50-minute video interview with Maxim Daulov appeared on the Internet two days later. So it turned out that the same Vladimir Zolkin introduced himself as a journalist.

On May 12, Ksenia Daulova got through to the Ministry of Defense hotline.

“And they said my husband was listed as missing,” she says. “And that he was not and is not on the lists of prisoners for the exchange.”


After the video was published on VK, messages with curses and threats from strangers rained down on Maxim Daulov and his relatives, Ksenia managed to enter her husband's account and close it from strangers. But unknown people began to send a link to a video with Maxim Daulov in captivity to acquaintances and friends. Maxim's mother had to call an ambulance, and his aunt came down with a heart attack.

Xenia never received any official confirmation that Maxim was among the prisoners. Ksenia never received a response to her written appeal to the military unit where her husband served. The salary on Maxim's card continued to arrive. But in March, both the salary and the "combat" came, and from April - only the salary. (In fact, this means that at least the accounting department of the Ministry of Defense is aware that Daulov does not take part in hostilities. Dmitry Paramoshkin, who was taken prisoner, had a similar story).

“In May, after the video was published, Maxim's sister and I called the Ministry of Defense hotline, and each time we were given different information,” Ksenia says. At first they said he was missing. A few days later I called again, and the operator told me: "Your husband is in the service, doing his military duty." I just laughed nervously. At the beginning of June, they finally said that he was on the list of servicemen who were taken prisoner. But then it turned out that on the same day Maxim's sister called the hotline independently of me. And she was told that he was not on the lists. In his military unit, they claim that they have transferred all the information to the ministry, in the ministry they nod at the military unit. It is not clear who to believe, and whether Maxim is on the exchange lists is also unclear.

The state of uncertainty has become unbearable for Maxim Daulov's relatives. The hardest thing was his elderly mother, who could not even talk - she began to cry. Xenia also sobbed incessantly, but she had to overcome herself and gather herself, as her little son was sobbing with her. The child was not told where his dad is now, but, watching the adults, the kid guesses that dad is in trouble.

In desperation, Ksenia wrote an appeal to the St. Petersburg deputies from Yabloko Alexander Shishlov and Boris Vishnevsky. Vishnevsky sent an official request to the Chief Military Prosecutor Valery Petrov. The appeal says that at least from April 2 to May 12, Maxim Daulov was listed as missing, although his wife immediately passed the information that he was captured to his military unit. The deputy asks the chief military prosecutor to provide assistance so that Ensign Daulov is still included in the lists of prisoners of war, and those responsible for the red tape, because of which he was considered missing all this time, were punished.

“The last time I spoke to my husband was on May 11, when the Ukrainians were filming an interview with him,” says Ksenia Daulova. - In this video, he looks a lot thinner, but in general, he seems to be more or less fine. How can you be in order in such a situation. But he knows how to control his emotions. My main task now is to get him home. But I am killed by the indifference and inaction of those who should deal with his return. About a week ago, after we started writing to deputies, I got a call from a legal adviser from the unit where Maxim serves. He asked if I needed any help, promised that the command would sort everything out.

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In the meantime, all that is known about Maxim Daulov is that he spent the first 15 days of captivity in the "Kharkov SIZO". He managed to mention this during the “interview”, after which he was forbidden to talk about where he was.

How the fairy tale hotline works and why it is needed

"The girl could not sleep without a fairy tale, her mother had already told all the fairy tales she knew three times. Therefore, every evening at exactly nine o'clock signor Bianchi, wherever he is I didn’t stay, I called home, in Varese, and told my daughter a fairy tale,” writes the famous Italian writer Gianni Rodari in a 1962 in the collection "Tales on the phone". Today, little listeners are connected to the fairy-tale world at the other end of the wire by the volunteers of the project "To a fairy tale - from home" - in reality, every day, local time from 19:00 to 22:00. The launch of the project with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation took place first in Moscow, St. Petersburg and their regions, but in more than two weeks of work, the geography of "fairy tales on the phone" expanded to the borders of the whole of Russia.

The journey from self-isolation to a fairy tale is organized during the quarantine period and is carried out with the participation of MTS, the Russian Movement of Schoolchildren (RDSH), the Russian State Children's Library, and the Faculty of Journalism of Lomonosov Moscow State University. The free hotline (8-800-250-10-51) works for children under 14 who, like the heroine of the Rodari collection, cannot fall asleep without a good magical story (the stories, by the way, are read from the fabulous collections of Children's Radio and the National Electronic children's library).

"Hello! I'm a storyteller named ..., what's your name?" - with these words, a volunteer picks up the phone, which may turn out to be a student, a counselor of the RDS, and sometimes, as the head of social and charitable programs of MTS Ekaterina Filatova clarifies, even a writer or actor.

But, regardless of the status, the everyday life of storytellers, in general, is similar. Here is what one of the readers of the hotline, Nadya, says:

on the screen with a file with fairy tales, so that we can quickly answer the call. As a rule, one volunteer receives 2-5 calls per evening, so in parallel we are engaged in some other pressing matters."

The fairy tales selected for the project are designed for reading no more than 15 minutes. And if signor Bianchi, telling his daughter stories on the phone, tried to be brief so as not to pay too much for the call, then in this case the modest size of the tales is explained by the fact that the project provides an opportunity to connect with his reader to each caller - there should be enough magic for everyone. The time of the conversation is also limited by a single script - a list of brief preparations that volunteers are required to follow during the conversation.

"A child calls me (the hotline number is displayed on the phone screen), I pick up the phone, get to know each other, offer a choice of a fairy tale depending on the age category - 10-14 years old, 6-9 years old or younger 5. A small miracle on the other side makes a choice, and I read,” the storyteller Dasha says about how communication with a child usually goes.

"Usually" - without interference, tears, pranks from adults and reprimands from curators.

"Did you have a good hunt?" asked the mother when Giuseppe returned home.

- Very lucky, Mom. I got three fat failures. Who knows, maybe they will go well with corn porridge?".

J. Rodari, "Tales on the phone"

The real problems faced by the project volunteers are somewhat sobering and make them descend from castles in the air to the ground So, instead of an enthusiastic greeting from the "little miracle", picking up the phone, you can hear a completely unchildish one: "Can you tell a fairy tale for adults?" Or: "Why do you have such the same voices for everyone here?" According to Dasha, with a bully, asking these questions, the volunteers suffered for the whole shift.0003

Of course, children themselves sometimes engage in phone pranks, but there is a big difference between their pranks and the strange behavior of people of quite mature age. "If children's jokes are funny (for example, a child may introduce himself as a policeman or sing a song from a cartoon and hang up), then adults' pranks are offensive," the storyteller Ksyusha explains.

However, it must be admitted that unpleasant calls spoil the nerves only of the volunteers themselves, without affecting the main goal of the hotline - to bring joy and a fairy tale to those who are "on the other side." More tangible damage (although caused only by an external hostile reality) is brought by technical problems, dispelling the halo of a miracle for both the reader and the listener.

"Unfortunately, sometimes it becomes sad when a child listens to a fairy tale, but at one moment the call is interrupted, and you don't even know if he liked it or not. You don't even know his emotions," says the storyteller Sasha.

Problems with communication and the Internet are especially terrible for volunteers when it comes to a failure to download a file with works. Volunteers overcome this obstacle in different ways: for example, Ksyusha saves fairy tales so as not to use the site that often freezes, and Dasha opens the document in advance. The main thing is not to improvise: this is not accepted here.

"Many storytellers can easily come up with a good story themselves. Back in 2018 I published my own collection of fairy tales, someone worked or works with children, someone has little brothers and sisters to whom they tell stories at night", - said the volunteer Arina.

One day a boy listening to Arina asked for a fairy tale about Spiderman. Of course, this story is not in the list of old and good, and it is forbidden to deviate from the approved list of works, according to volunteers. In response to a request to choose another fairy tale, the child began to cry.

"I violated the script and tried to tell something myself, but the call ended. I guess I was lucky. And then I was reprimanded for the violation," adds Arina. Storytellers who often violate the script and do not answer the phone are excluded from the project.

Ekaterina Filatova, head of MTS social and charitable programs, notes that the special value of the fairy tale hotline lies in the live communication between children and volunteers. At the same time, the readers, bound hand and foot by the script, can hardly maintain this liveliness to the full extent. Children ask to read more, they want to get acquainted with fairy storytellers and just talk, but in the end they can only get timid deviations from the blanks. “The project organizer advised me not to be too constrained, so sometimes I can answer the child or ask if he is ready to listen further if I hear that he was distracted by a conversation with his parents,” Ksyusha says.

Maybe the script is needed in order for the call to be clearly timed?

"If we had an overloaded line and the whole shift would receive calls without interruption, then I think such strict rules would really have to be in place. But for now, to date, I believe that nothing criminal would have happened, if you talked to the child not for 15, but for 20 minutes," explains Nadya.

Maybe the script actually helps the volunteers interact with the listener by instructing the participants how to say hello, how to say goodbye?

"Keep reading on your own and take part in the competition on Become the best reader and get unique creative prizes! I wish you great success! Goodbye!" - so the storytellers should end the call. For Nadya, ending the conversation with a mention of the competition (which is also part of the "From home to a fairy tale" project) is one of the most difficult moments of the work, because she "doesn't want to destroy the atmosphere of magic." At the same time, as Nadya assures, the children are not only disappointed in her image of a storyteller, but simply do not perceive this absolutely “earthly” information, dull compared to the world of miracles from which little listeners have just returned.

"But... Work is work," adds Nadia.

"Oh, how distracted he is, I don't know how to reason with him.

- You know, all children are like that."

J. Rodari "Fairy Tales on the Phone"

Despite all the obstacles that the project "Into a fairy tale - from home" diligently repairs itself, the "live communication" mentioned by Filatova still takes place thanks to the emotional openness of volunteers and childish spontaneity, unlimited by any scenario. Readers enthusiastically share stories in which the kid touchingly confuses the fairy tale "Zayushkina's hut" with "Zayushkina's frog" and sincerely worries about his brother Ivanushka, gasping in fright at moments with damask knives and high fires. Or, on the contrary, in the middle of reading, he laughs out loud and exclaims: "Wow! How great!", As a five-year-old girl did when Sasha read her the fairy tale "Telephone".

"My mood improved by 200%. Then I spent the whole evening smiling because I was able to make a little girl happy," says Sasha.

And this exchange of positive energy brightens up not only the monotonous routine of self-isolation, saving some volunteers from loneliness, and some children from boredom: almost every call has a long-term effect, leaving vivid impressions in memory, and, importantly, useful experience - good lesson for the good guys. So, Dasha, who is going to work on television in the future, is improving her voice and acting skills, and Nadia has already developed her diction so much in two weeks of reading that, according to her, in 15 minutes she can pronounce the names of all Nif-Nif and Naf 50 times -Nafov, never faltering. Arina, as a writer engaged in fairy tale therapy, watches the reaction of the children to different works and learns from the classics, Sasha simply enjoys positive emotions, and Ksyusha overcomes embarrassment.

Children also study. According to volunteers, in addition to the fact that the project provides an opportunity to listen to fairy tales live in those moments when relatives cannot read aloud, the trip "To a fairy tale - from home" also helps in the socialization of a child, especially a toddler.

"Not every child dares to talk to a stranger on the phone, children are very shy," notes Arina. Talking to adult storytelling uncles and aunts helps to cope with the fear of "strangers" in the future: Dasha says that even now there are regular listeners on the line who boldly call every evening.

Why does this slightly archaic telephone format become not only useful, but also attractive? The secret is in the fairy tale itself, which is happening to you and for you, right now: both readers and listeners feel it.

"I think a child feels special when a fairy tale is read to him personally," explains Arina.

And for volunteers, the greatest magic lies in children's gratitude. “The most beautiful thing is when the fairy tale has already been read and the children thank you from the bottom of their hearts. They don’t know how to lie, and their “thank you” means that we both got unforgettable emotions. Therefore, I always end the conversation with a smile on my face,” Dasha admits.

"- Just don't tell me that you understand what they are talking about.

- But I'll just say: I understood everything. tomorrow will be even better."

J. Rodari "Fairy tales on the phone"

In the project "From home to a fairy tale" there is both black and white.

Learn more