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.
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.
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.
- Serve more people in need
- Increase our capacity
- Leverage our impact through coalitions and collaborations
- Build a strong financial foundation to support strategic growth
Staff & Board
In the News
Snapshot – Monthly Newsletter
Samaritans’ monthly e-newsletters, known as Snapshots, are a great way to keep up-to-date with Samaritans’ news and events. Click on the links to the right to read our most recent Snapshots.
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December 2019: Season’s Greetings from Samaritans
November 2019: A season to give thanks for all that you do
October 2019: Gratitude for your generosity
September 2019: September is Suicide Prevention Month
August 2019: Community conversations
July 2019: “Sometimes, the best way to help someone is to just listen.”
June 2019: Kick off the summer with Samaritans updates
May 2019: Spreading our mission to save lives
April 2019: Last steps of Boston Marathon preparation
March 2019: Building a culture of empathy
February 2019: Make a difference in your community
January 2019: Remembering our loved ones
December 2018: Season’s Greetings from Samaritans
November 2018: We are thankful for you
October 2018: Thank you for being a part of the Samaritans community
September 2018: September is Suicide Prevention Month
August 2018: Running the Samaritans 5K as Self-Care
July 2018: Get Involved
June 2018: Making an Impact
May 2018: Samaritans in Your Workplace
April 2018: Marathon Homestretch
March 2018: Building Community
February 2018: Get Inspired
January 2018: New Beginnings
Cover & Financials Images: Hilary P. Cole
Timeline, Staff & Board, Partners Images: Tom Fitzsimmons
In the News Image: Erika Petersson