Crisis Services Befriending
Each day hundreds of people who find themselves struggling with loneliness, depression, or suicidal feelings turn to Samaritans in search of the respectful, non-judgmental support that has been the cornerstone of our services since 1974. Whatever the challenge or struggle, those who are suicidal or despairing can find something at Samaritans that we all need from time to time: a caring, compassionate person to provide emotional support and share their burden.
Our 24/7 Crisis Services are staffed by trained volunteers, called Befrienders. Samaritans’ volunteers come from all walks of life. Teens (15+), students, professionals, and retirees from a variety of cultural, educational, and religious backgrounds volunteer their time as Befrienders.
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 learning the skills necessary in work as 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?
The Crisis Services volunteer process begins with participating in an information session. At these sessions, you will learn more about Samaritans and the programs and services that we provide to the community. We will review the various aspects about the Crisis Services’ volunteer commitment, including the basic 200-hour requirement for adult volunteers (a 4-hour weekly shift and monthly overnight shift) and the 125-hour requirement for teen volunteers (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. Our Grief Support Services program offers free support to loss survivors, a term used to describe people who have lost loved ones to suicide. Our services focus on nonjudgmental and compassionate peer support.
Grief Support Services volunteers (21+) 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. Volunteers facilitate SafePlace peer-support groups and participate in home visits to individuals and families looking for one-on-one support.
Volunteers learn the skills they will need through attendance as a SafePlace group participant and a specialized three-day training. The volunteer process begins with attending an informal orientation meeting with our program staff. This is an opportunity for you to learn more about the on-boarding process and volunteer experience, as well as for our staff to learn more about you. Together, we will decide if it is a good fit and discuss next steps. To get started, please complete the Volunteer Interest Form below.
One-Time 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