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Cathedral Forum: “Listening as Social Commitment and Service.”

In this Forum, Katsy Blamont, Chair of SOS Help, talks about loneliness in all its forms and the difference that a listening ear can make. Founded in Paris in 1974, SOS Help is the only English language emotional support line in France. Working along the principles of the UK Samaritans, it relies on volunteer listeners, trained by mental health professionals, to offer a listening ear to those who need to express and explore their feelings, fears, anger, anxiety, depression, etc., in a safe and non-judgemental environment. Listeners are equipped to give practical information if requested but do not give advice, trying instead to help callers to find the clarity to make their own decisions. They take more than 5000 calls a year. In addition to introducing the work of SOS Help, Katsy poses some questions about this type of work that may, at one time or another, confront all of us: when is listening enough and when is it not? Is there a danger of making callers dependent? When might a more “activist” approach be needed?

On 14 October, the Cathedral will host the SOS Help second-hand book sale, a great opportunity to find good books at great prices and to support SOS Help’s work.

Sunday, September 30, 9:45am in the Fleetwood Room of the American Cathedral. 


The Cathedral Forum is a weekly lecture series with topics that range from theology, politics and spirituality to economics and literature. The forum regularly features prominent speakers from academia, the media, and journalism.