SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE
The Samaritans Suicide Prevention
The need for suicide prevention is obvious. Suicide is an epidemic in America
today touching people of every age, culture, social, sexual and religious identity.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. (over 36,000 fatalities
a year), the 3rd leading cause of death of American teenagers and the 2nd
of college students. Most people would be shocked to learn that more Americans
take their own lives each year than die by AIDS or homicide. The good news
is that, since the vast majority of people who attempt suicide do something
to let others know their intentions before they act (experts say as many
as 75%), suicide can be prevented through awareness, education and training.
Program and Services
The Samaritans of New York is the local branch of the international humanitarian
movement with over 400 branches in 40 countries. A non-religious, non-profit
organization, Samaritans is devoted to helping those people who are in crisis
and feeling suicidal through our volunteer-run programs that practice a
communications-based response we call "befriending," which emphasizes listening
to what a person in crisis is feeling and thinking without expressing personal judgments or opinions.
24-Hour Suicide Prevention Hotline
operates 24 hours, seven-days-a-week. Staffed by over 100 caring volunteers
who go through intensive training, it is the city's only confidential
24-hour hotline devoted to preventing suicide. The hotline responds to
callers from every walk of life, with issues ranging from AIDS, cancer and other
illnesses to being the victim of violence or sexual abuse to the loss
of a loved one, to being unemployed or suffering from depression. With
major funding from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and
the NYS Office of Mental Health, the hotline answers over 60,000 calls
Public Education Program provides
a crisis response/training team that supplies feedback and support to
those touched by suicide, and awareness and prevention workshops for students,
parents, teachers, guidance counselors, social workers and others. With
major support from funders from the NYC Council and NYS Office of
Mental Health, since 1990 the program has trained over 30,000 people,
including including staff from the NYC Department of Education, NYPD, NYC AIDS Taskforce, Safe
Horizon, Mt. Sinai Rape Crisis, EMS, Girl Scouts of America, Administration for Children's Services, Covenent House, NYU, New School, Partnership
for the Homeless, Dept. for the Aging, Visiting Nurse Service, etc.
Safe Place Suicide Survivor Support Groups
are free, monthly "peer support" meetings for those people who have lost
a loved one to suicide who seek a safe and comfortable setting where
they can share their feelings and express their fears, conflicts and pain
with others who are responding to the same issues and problems.
Contract Services and Consultations
provide "technical assistance" on a sliding scale to schools, agencies
and corporations that require individually tailored crisis communication
and suicide prevention and postvention programs to meet their organization
and staff needs including the NYPD Early Intervention Unit, Emergency
Medical Services EAP, GMHC Client Services, NYC Human Resources Administration,
NYC Health & Hospitals Corporation, NYC Department of Education, etc.
Samaritans has been featured in a New York Magazine cover story,
in pieces in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Daily News, NY
Post, Newsday and Oprah Magazine, on MTV and Prime
Time Live, Good Morning America (their major series on depression)
and PBS, which devoted a program to the work of our Executive Director,
Alan Ross. We have also been seen on Nightline, Fox News, CNN, ABC
World News, NY#1 and all major NYC news stations. Our education programs have been the focus of articles in both the British Journal of Social Work and Brief Treatment & Crisis Intervention.