Attending a Safe Place Meeting
Samaritans Safe Place meetings are free and offered twice a month at easily accessible locations in New York City.
Only survivors–those who have directly lost a loved one to suicide–can attend these meetings and participants must be 18 or older. There are no exceptions.
Meetings are run by trained facilitators who are, also, respected Samaritans volunteers experienced in dealing with the complex issues surrounding suicide and its aftermath. The meetings are run as peer support groups, where the people participating have the opportunity to focus on their thoughts and feelings, challenges and difficulties coping with their loss, without any undue pressures or expectations or other people judging them or giving them advice.
For more information on our Safe Place Program, click here.
“Being able to share my loss and pain in a group of others who share a similar loss has been a real comfort to me. Safe Place has played a significant role in my grieving and healing process.” A Safe Place Participant
Guidelines to Attend
To maintain the safety and confidential nature of the support group meetings for everyone in attendance, participants must have had a close, personal or some form of intimate relationship with the person they lost. Resultingly, participants are not allowed to be accompanied by friends or others to provide support–That is the role of the group and the facilitators.
This need to maintain a Safe Place means that students of suicide prevention, including clinicians, researchers, creative artists, writers and others who want to attend the meeting in order to learn about this issue and how it impacts people are, also, barred from the meetings.
These guidelines are strictly enforced.
Based on Samaritans’ over 20 years of experience and the feedback from mental health professionals in this area, we believe it is best for those who have experienced a loss to suicide to wait a minimum of two months before attending a meeting. We advise participants to first engage some form of professional care and support and to allow a little time to pass after the initial traumatic shock.
How To Attend
From reading this description, if you meet the above guidelines and feel that Safe Place would be a productive component of your coping process, you are welcome to attend a Samaritans Safe Place meeting. If you have any questions about the program, you can call (212) 673-3041 and leave your name, phone number and the best time to reach you. We will do our best to get back to you in a timely manner.
Safe Place Meetings are scheduled the first Wednesday and the third Tuesday of each month from 7-9 p.m. (So that participants are not interrupted, doors close and no one is allowed entrance after 7:15 p.m.)
Every first Wednesday of the month, the meetings are held at: St. Stephen’s Church, 120 West 69th Street (between Broadway and Columbus); use the door marked “Main Entrance” located to the right of the church office.
Every third Tuesday of the month, the meetings are held at: Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center (PPSC), 80 Fifth Avenue (at 14th Street) in Conference Room #1408-C (take any available elevator to the 14th floor).
Every person who attends a Safe Place meeting will be required to show a photo I.D. upon entrance and fill-in an attendance sheet with their name, street address and phone number.
If you are in crisis and/or need to talk to someone about the impact your loss has had on you and what you are going through, you are welcome to call Samaritans free confidential 24-hour emotional support and crisis hotline at (212) 673-3000.