Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Statement

We at Samaritans envision a world without suicide. Our mission is to prevent suicide and offer hope and support to those affected. We believe that everyone in society has a role to play in preventing suicide and simultaneously recognize that social disparities and oppression impact communities’ ability to prevent suicide and support suicide loss survivors. Respecting and recognizing who people are, where they live and how they show up in the world through their lived experiences is essential to effectively directing suicide prevention efforts. Historically marginalized groups differ in their access to culturally appropriate and meaningful care with regard to mental health and suicide prevention. Due to profound disparities across income, racial, and class lines, there are many in our shared society that are rendered more vulnerable to factors that increase suicide risk.

We understand we are on a journey towards embodying diversity, equity and inclusion, striving to create equal access to our services regardless of identity, beliefs, or circumstances. As an organization founded in 1974, these contemporary times provide the opportunity to continually re-examine and refine how we fulfill our mission.  As we continue to build our legacy, we strive to reflect our ever-deepening understanding of the diverse communities we serve in our chosen partners, programs, policies, and  frameworks of service. Our values of integrity, befriending, equity, justice and inclusion, belonging, courage and hope, create the backdrop for us to pursue the development of a comprehensive Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) workplan.  

Samaritans commits to: 

  1. Creating organizational and programmatic goals that articulate concrete actions we can take that expand and operationalize diversity, equity and inclusion in our work 
  2. Allocating our resources that will support our goals and learning that creates and expands our understanding of DEI and how to incorporate it into our work 
  3. Engaging the Board of Directors in their own set of goals and objectives, and in supporting the staff’s DEI work 
  4. Assessing our progress and addressing challenges 
  5. Embracing transparency about our journey 

We understand Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are: 

Diversity incorporates all characteristics and experiences that define each of us as individuals. It includes but is not limited to race, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, age, religion, national origin, mental and physical ability, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, political views, neuro-divergency, and other dimensions of diversity.  

Equity is the fair and just practices and policies that provide consistency in care, treatment, access, opportunity and advancement for staff, volunteers and stakeholders. It also includes creating policies and procedures that encourage greater engagement and participation of historically marginalized and neglected communities by identifying and consequently reducing and eliminating barriers that prevent full participation of diverse communities and individuals. 

Inclusion means creating an environment in which individuals and groups feel welcomed and respected, enabling full participation and engagement. It is explicitly creating awareness, shifting behaviors and changing attitudes that result in an intentionally welcoming climate which embraces differences as an essential component of the Samaritans community. 

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