About Us2020-05-19T14:52:27-04:00


Samaritans offices share a common suicide prevention mission and philosophy, but operate independently. Samaritans of Boston, established in 1974, follows the principles of befriending established by the United Kingdom Samaritans in 1953.

For over 40 years, we have provided life-saving suicide prevention services and nonjudgmental support throughout  Massachusetts. Samaritans evolved from one small Helpline to having answered over 2.6 million calls, chats and text messages. We have trained more than 5,250 volunteers in befriending skills; provided suicide prevention workshops to 135,000 individuals; and lent aid and support to 13,000 individuals who have lost a loved one to suicide.

Cover of Samaritans' Strategic Plan 2016 titled Vision of the Future.

Samaritans Mission & Vision

Our mission is to reduce the incidence of suicide by alleviating despair, isolation, distress and suicidal feelings among individuals in our community, 24 hours a day; to educate the public about suicide prevention; to help those who have lost a loved one to suicide; and to reduce the stigma associated with suicide. We accomplish this through services that emphasize confidential, nonjudgmental, and compassionate listening.

We envision a society in which fewer people die by suicide. Samaritans’ vision is to be recognized as the organization that alleviates despair, distress, isolation and suicidal feelings through compassionate listening. We are easily accessible and widely used by at-risk populations, particularly those who are young, elderly and/or addicted. We collaborate with and leverage the strengths of many organizations and individuals in multiple communities to increase our impact. We provide excellent services and will be known as an outstanding place to work and volunteer.


Samaritans’ values represent how we interact with all members of our community: We value direct, honest communication. We value compassion and passion in all our endeavors. We create a safe, nonjudgmental environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. We allow time to explore difficult feelings. We show concern for the individual but commitment to the mission.

Strategic Plan

The Samaritans team, including our board and staff, regularly update our Strategic Plan. The most recent version, our Vision of the Future (2016), outlines our four goals (below), strategies for how we will achieve them, and  how those in the Samaritans community can help.

  1. Serve more people in need
  2. Increase our capacity
  3. Leverage our impact through coalitions and collaborations
  4. Build a strong financial foundation to support strategic growth


Samaritans provides life saving suicide prevention services throughout Greater Boston, MetroWest, and across Massachusetts. Our services are free, confidential, and nonjudgmental.

Volunteers in the Crisis Center answering calls in their cubicles.


View Our Milestones

Staff & Board

Meet the Team


Meet our partners


View financial documents

In the News

Read our news articles


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Cover & Financials Images: Hilary P. Cole

Timeline, Staff & Board, Partners Images: Tom Fitzsimmons

In the News Image: Erika Petersson