Crisis Services Befriending
Each day, people who struggle with loneliness, depression, or suicidal feelings turn to us for the non-judgmental support that has been the cornerstone of our services since 1974. On the other side of the phone call or text message, they find a caring listener ready to provide emotional support. These compassionate people are Befrienders: teens (15+), students, professionals, and retirees from a variety of cultural, educational, and religious backgrounds who volunteer their time for our 24/7 Crisis Services.
While they may not share any particular prior experience or training, Befrienders share a deep respect for human life and a desire to support those in pain. After training and becoming a Befriender, many find that this experience becomes an important part of their life. Few things can be as rewarding as knowing that you were there when someone needed you most.
The more trained volunteer Befrienders we have, the more people we can serve.
Interested in becoming a Crisis Services volunteer?
Start the Crisis Services volunteer process by participating in an information session. At these sessions, you will learn more about Samaritans and our programs. We will review the Crisis Services’ volunteer commitment, including the basic 200-hour requirement for adults (a 4-hour weekly shift and monthly overnight shift) and the 125-hour requirement for teens (a 3-hour weekly shift). Accelerated volunteer opportunities and academic internship placements are also available. The session will be followed by an informal 1:1 interview that provides both parties with the opportunity to further explore the match.
Grief Support Services Volunteering
Losing a loved one to suicide is a painful and difficult experience. Samaritans’ Grief Support Services program offers free support to suicide loss survivors – people who have lost loved ones to suicide. Our Grief Support Services volunteers have been personally impacted by a loss to suicide and are at a place in their own healing which allows them to help others as they travel a similar path after a tragic loss. If you have lost a loved one to suicide and would like to help other loss survivors, please read the description below to learn more about the requirements for Samaritans’ Grief Support Services volunteers.
Options for Volunteering
- Facilitate peer support groups in either Boston, Quincy, Medford, Needham, Framingham, or Worcester (SafePlace)
- Participate in home visits to individuals and families looking for one-on-one support in Greater Boston and Central Massachusetts (Survivor-to-Survivor Network)
- No fixed time commitment – as much involvement as your availability allows
- SafePlace schedules are developed annually, with meetings held during weeknight evenings
- Survivor-to-Survivor Network visits are scheduled on a case-by-case basis, but often take place during weeknight evenings and weekends
- Must be a suicide loss survivor
- Empathetic and compassionate
- Punctual and reliable
- Responds to requests in a timely manner
- Ages 21+
- People of all personal and professional backgrounds encouraged to apply
- Attendance as a SafePlace participant
- Specialized three-day training
To get started, please complete the Volunteer Interest Form below. Questions? Email SafePlace@samaritanshope.org.
Other Volunteer Opportunities
There are lots of other ways to help Samaritans accomplish our mission. We are always looking for volunteers to help with events, including our 5K and Breakfast for Hope, intern in the development office, assist with administrative tasks, or contribute in other ways. If you are looking for volunteer opportunities for your school group or coworkers, you’ve come to the right place! Contact us to learn more.
Image: John D. Cole