New York City's Suicide Prevention Center
With more Americans dying from suicide than AIDS and homicide combined, providing immediately accessible emotional support to people in crisis in the most culturally diverse city in the world is the primary goal of the Samaritans of New York, the non-religious, non-profit organization, that operates NYC's only confidential 24-hour suicide prevention hotline that has answered 1,000,000 calls from people in crisis since 1983.
Samaritans Hotline Volunteers Save Lives
What people who are depressed and suicidal need most at their time of crisis is a place they can turn where they can talk to someone who will take them seriously, someone who is caring and listens without giving advice or their opinion on what that person should do. That is the work performed by the 120 professionally trained Samaritans volunteers who donate 35,000 hours a year to be available morning, noon and night, befriending those in crisis and helping to alleviate some of their pain and suffering.
Hotline, Education and Survivor Programs
A member of the world's oldest and most highly respected suicide prevention network with 400 centers in 42 countries (from Argentina, Bosnia and Great Britain to India, Singapore and Zimbabwe), the non-religious Samaritans operates NYC's 24-hour suicide prevention hotline that answered over 60,000 calls last year, NYC's premier suicide education program that has trained over 30,000 health providers and support groups that have provided solace to hundreds of people who have lost a loved one to suicide.
Working in Culturally Diverse Communities
In addition to being the primary suicide education trainers for the NYC Department of Education and working with NYC Department for the Aging, Youth & Community Development, Child Protective Services, Health and Hospitals Corporation, we have also worked with: Visiting Nurse Service, Bronx VA Medical Center, Puerto Rican Family Institute, NY Asian Women's Center, Mt.Sinai Rape Crisis, Alzheimer's Association, NY Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Coalition for the Homeless, St. Ann's Senior Citizens, DC37 Union, Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, NYPD, FDNY, etc.
Samaritans Special Projects and Initiatives
Make A Difference--Locally and Nationally
British Journal of Social Work, Oxford University Press, October 2010
Training Outcomes from the Samaritans of New York Suicide Awareness and Prevention Programme among Community- and School-Based Staff is based on evaluations of Samaritans training provided to NYC public school and government agency staff conducted by Monica M. Matthieu, PhD, LCSW, the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University and the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, St. Louis, Missouri, reported results that "indicated increased self-efficacy after suicide prevention training (M = 3.7, SD = 0.6) than before (M = 3.3, SD = 0.7) (t = -13.24, p < 0.05)."
Samaritans Targets Bars, Restaurants and Hotels to Prevent Holiday Suicide
With over 10% of suicides in Manhattan committed by visitors and NYC hotels and buildings proving a popular site for suicide attempts, Samaritans provided a resource kit to more than 250 NYC hotels, bars, department stores and health clubs to help staffers identify and respond to customers who are in crisis over the holiday season. The kit included guidelines on identifying and interacting with people in crisis, information about available resources and how to help.
Study: "The Need for Police Training on Effective Responses to Suicide (US)..."
The Samaritans of New York in contract with the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SAMHSA), Samaritans recently conducted a nationwide needs analysis study that examined the role of law enforcement throughout the United States in suicide prevention and postvention support with the goal of determining if and in what manner training can be developed to increase police effectiveness in responding to a scene where there has been a suicide or attempt.
NYS Office of Mental Health Public Education Project
This ongoing project is part of the New York State Office of Mental Health's comprehensive strategy to advance suicide prevention statewide, with Samaritans focusing on those groups--most notably businesses, corporations, faith-based and spiritual institutions--and communities that have not been included in traditional suicide prevention outreach efforts in NYC. The project is providing education and technical support, information on evidence-based practices, readily accessible resources and tools to enhance corporate and other sites suicide prevention preparedness. To learn more, go to www.promotingcorporatewellness.com
‘Meals-On-Wheels’ Emotional Support Resources for Homebound Older Adults
An example of Samaritans collaborations with NYC community-based agencies that serve high-risk populations is our work with Citymeals-On-Wheels, which "provides a continuous lifeline of nutritious food and human company to homebound elderly New Yorkers in need." Samaritans designed, produced and distributed over 14,000 We All Need Someone To Lean On... heart-shaped refrigerator magnets promoting the availability of our 24-hour hotline in the agency's special holiday hotmeal program which led to many isolated elderly New Yorkers receiving ongoing emotional support.
‘A Helping Hand Over the Holidays’ Volunteer Community Outreach
Volunteers visited 216 senior centers, out-patient facilities, drug rehabilitation programs, food pantries, unemployment offices and other agencies that serve at-risk populations in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn to provide support and resources. Sites included: Salvation Army Bay Ridge, Sunset Park Senior Center, American Legion Post 1833, St. Margaret Mary Church Food Pantry, Brooklyn AIDS Taskforce, Puerto Rican Family Institute, Jacobi Medical Center Geriatric Outpatient Clinic, Inwood House Young Fathers Program, Good Shepherd Services and others.
AirCraft Casualty Emotional Support Services Grief Mentor Training
Samaritans was contracted to design policies and procedures for this national volunteer organization devoted to providing those who have lost loved ones in air disasters with support from individuals who have experienced similar losses, and to develop and provide training programs to increase the consistency of their Volunteer Grief Mentor’s responses and their effectiveness in communicating with those whose losses result from the smallest to the largest aircraft disasters and tragedies like 9/11.
Samaritans Suicide Prevention Materials and Resources Online Guide
The guide contains Internet links to information on suicide statistics, warning signs, risk factors, effective responses to high-risk individuals, current research and organizations that provide clinical, scholarly and practical articles to assist family and friends, caregivers and health professionals who are providing care to individuals who are in distress or suicidal with the information they need to maximize their effectiveness and expand their knowledge. To access the guide, go to: www.samaritansnyc.org/prevention/resourcematerials.html