During these remarkable times that few of us could have imagined, we are all being challenged to adapt and adjust, which is what we are focusing on at Samaritans these days. For the first time since we were established in 1982, we have been forced to put our suicide prevention hotline on “temporary hold,” something that never happened, even in the face of devastating tragedies like 9/11, Hurricane Sandy and other life-threatening events.   But like so many individuals devoted to helping people in their communities, so many organizations whose mission is to help those in need, our staff and volunteers continue to find ways to help those New Yorkers that are having trouble coping with our current circumstances (who isn’t?).

We have set-up a phone service so that Samaritans Volunteers trained in active listening and crisis response can reach out to those in distress and provide them with some form of emotional support during these difficult times when so many people are feeling anxious, isolated and alone.  We are implementing outreach efforts to those who have been personally touched by suicide.  We’re developing interactive platforms to provide an alternative to our support groups that can no longer meet in this day of “social distancing.”

And we are working to fill some of the gaps and strengthen NYC’s safety net by providing needed education, training, resources and technical support wherever we can.  Samaritans is proud to be just one member of NYC’s Caring Community, the remarkable men and women who know how important it is in times like these to be there for those in need.

Stay strong. Stay safe. Stay home.

Take good care.