TES Telephone Emergency Services
The concept: a free telephone and e-mail service for people in emotional distress
TES centres started in the early 50s, focusing principally on suicide-prevention.
Soon they began to provide support at an earlier stage for people who were suffering from depression or sickness despite receiving specially adapted care.
Today, TES centres are a unique service that:
- is accessible 24 hours a day and provides highly trained volunteers to callers who benefit from a confidential and anonymous assistance,
- dispenses immediate emotional support to anyone who is enduring loneliness, experiencing a psychological crisis, or considering suicide, or who simply needs someone to listen to them and be acknowledged, regardless of their problems,
- offers empathy and a genuine, human relationship based on non-judgemental listening, where all religious, political or ideological influence is rigorously avoided,
- positively promotes emotional health, which helps callers to build their emotional resilience and improve their ability to survive.
An international Network
IFOTES, LifeLine International and the Samaritans Befrienders Worldwide are today the three main international networks of VESH (Volunteer Emotional Support Helplines).
- 10,0000 trained volunteers
- 1,200 Telephone Emergency Services centres in 61 countries
- more than 10 million phone calls each year
The common aim is to:
- share information materials,
- offer media training to promote responsible coverage of suicide,
- make joint presentations at international events,
- cooperate with other organizations that share the same concerns, in particular the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP).