Mission: Suicide, the eleventh leading cause of death in the U.S. and the third leading cause of death among Massachusetts youth, takes the lives of thousands of individuals each year. Since the U.S. Surgeon General issued a call to action to prevent suicide in 1999, schools and human service agencies have grown more aware of the need to address suicide as a serious public health issue. Yet, there exist few resources for the suicidal, the despairing, or for individuals that have lost a loved one to suicide.
For more than thirty years, Samaritans has been dedicated to reducing the risk of suicide by befriending youth, adults and elders in crisis and educating the community with suicide prevention strategies. For many callers, the befriending support offered at Samaritans is extremely important in helping them cope with pressures in their lives. Community Education is another effective prevention program offered by Samaritans. By providing suicide prevention workshops to schools, youth and elder services, and other social service agencies, community gatekeepers are empowered to identify and intervene with peers or clients who are showing signs of suicide. Finally, Samaritans provides supportive services to those individuals, organizations and communities that have lost someone to suicide through our Survivor Support Services programs.
Target demographics: reduce the incidence of suicide by alleviating despair, isolation, distress and suicidal feelings among individuals in our community
Geographic areas served: Greater Boston, Metrowest
Programs: 24/7 Crisis Helpline, Community Education and Outreach Workshops, SafePlace support groups for survivors of suicide loss
I have been donating to Samaritans for a number of years and I know many of the staff and have known the Executive Director for years. I donate to the organization because I believe in what they do -- helping people who need someone to listen to them in a time of emotional crisis. I also am impressed with the organizations programs; including a new IM (instant messaging) program to reach teens. I also believe the value of an organization can be measured by other organizations that support them. For example, the Boston Red Sox supports the activities of Samaritans including the fundraising event "Make Noise to Save a Life." Samaritans is also innovative recently launching a "social experiment" at HappierBoston.org focused on reaching out to the local community. This organization saves lives by being there for people suffering emotionally and is doing a great service to their community.