Samaritans reported to UK charity regulator after publicly supporting trans people

The compliant was filed in response to the Samaritans tweeting about being available as a resource for trans people on Trans Day of Remembrance.

A person standing in a green Samaritans vest.
Image: Twitter: @samaritans

The Charity Commission in the UK has received an official complaint about Samaritans, after the organisation tweeted about supporting trans people.

On November 20, the mental health charity acknowledged Trans Day of Remembrance, a day dedicated to raising awareness about violence against trans people. The tweet explained how it can be a “difficult and upsetting time” for the community, and reminded trans and non-binary people that Samaritans is available to help.

The original post sparked replies and new conversation threads. Many praised the organisation for supporting trans people, and one person thanked a Samaritans worker for being the first person they came out to, adding that they are “endlessly grateful” for the charity’s service.

In follow-up tweets, Samaritans cited research that shows trans people have higher rates of self-harm and suicide attempts compared to cisgender people, and this generated further discussion, although much of it was negative and several tweets were hidden for violating the platform’s community terms.

Samaritans ultimately restricted their replies, acknowledging the importance of Trans Day of Remembrance as a time to honour and remember the lives lost and affected by transphobic violence.

However, as a result of its public support of trans people, someone reported the charity to the Charity Commission, the regulatory body for charities in England and Wales. The Charity Commission confirmed that the complaint was received regarding the Samaritans’ social media activity on Trans Day of Remembrance, and a spokesperson said, “We are assessing the information to determine whether there is a role for the Commission in this matter.”

Samaritans aims to reduce suicide risk factors and provide support to people who are at risk for self-harm. They strive to make sure vulnerable communities know that there are volunteers who are available to help anyone who is struggling. Their free helpline is available all day and night at 116 123. You can also email [email protected].

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