Samaritans has begun an awareness drive designed to encourage GPs and other health workers to refer distressed or suicidal people to its service.
It is sending guidance and templates of service level agreements to all of its 203 branches and will start monitoring referrals on an annual basis.
Forty-two branches already take referrals from health services, which are funded by primary care trusts.
"These guidelines will enable our volunteers to find their local GP, PCT or accident and emergency service and convince them we can play a vital role," said Joe Ferns, deputy director of service delivery.
"It's being well received by all the agencies we've been working with. This year we want to encourage the rest of our branches to use this joint working model."
- See News analysis, page 10.