Established in 1974, Samaritans of Boston was the first stand-alone Samaritans branch in the United States. We follow the principles of befriending established by the United Kingdom Samaritans in 1953. Samaritans offices all over the world share a common mission and philosophy, but operate independently. Today, we provide life saving suicide prevention services throughout the Commonwealth.
For over 40 years, Samaritans has provided nonjudgmental support to our community. Samaritans has evolved from a small organization, providing suicide intervention through one Helpline to having handled over 2.6 million calls, chats, and texts from at-risk individuals. 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.
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