Does your community know how to help someone in crisis? Samaritans provides free suicide prevention workshops for schools, groups, and organizations. In these workshops, your students and members will learn about suicide risk factors, building resiliency, and befriending those in need. Schedule a free workshop now or learn more about our workshops below.
Why should my school or group host a workshop?
In Massachusetts, nearly 600 people die by suicide each year. That’s one person every 15 hours. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death for young people (aged 10-24). But many people don’t know where to turn when they need help for themselves or a friend.
By bringing one of our workshops to your school, professional group, or civic, religious, or social organization, you can help people learn how to prevent suicide in your community. These workshops target groups that are at high risk for suicide, including teens, seniors, and middle-aged men.
After attending a workshop, 99% of recent participants said they felt like they learned something new and 85% said they would be able to identify suicide warning signs in others.
“This workshop opened my eyes to the fact that students want to be heard — but often we must ask and be direct about it.” – Boston Teachers Union
What are the workshops like?
Workshops run from 1-3 hours long and can be customized to fit your needs. In each workshop, participants learn how to spot suicide warning signs, build resiliency against common risk factors, and support someone who is at risk.
We offer several different types of workshops depending on your setting:
- Youth Workshops: These small, interactive classroom workshops (appropriate for ages 12 and up) give young people a safe forum for a conversation about suicide myths, prevention strategies, and what to do when they or their friends need help. Students also identify their own protective factors, roleplay conversations, and learn about trusted adults they can turn to.
- School Staff (Gatekeeper) Trainings: For teachers, guidance counselors, nurses, and other staff, gatekeeper training workshops provide tools and resources to respond to a student in crisis. School staff learn how to recognize risk factors and warning signs in their students, identify basic steps for getting students help, and discuss school protocols to destigmatize suicide and mental health in their school community.
“The students all spoke about how they learned a lot from your workshop, and several of them have been seeking counseling now as a result.” – East Boston High School
Elders may develop depression due to an illness, death of a loved one, being forced to move from their home, or feeling lonely. All of these can be risk factors of suicide or a symptom of something else. Our elder workshops attempt to break the stigma of suicide by letting elders know they can talk about suicide and giving them a resource to turn to for help. This workshop generally runs for one hour.
In the workplace, employees can be in a good position to notice changes in behavior in their fellow coworkers. Our workplace workshops aim to break down the stigma of suicide and mental illness, open up conversations among colleagues, and provide a safe and supportive environment for discussion. Workshops can take place through established programs (such as employee assistance programs or “Lunch and Learn” seminars) or in any other setting. Workshops typically run 60-90 minutes, but we can customize the length and topics that will be best for your workplace.