In This Issue
Out and About
Share Your Happiness
The Big Papi Blues
Support After Suicide
2014 Marathon Team
Volunteer Highlight

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September 28th was
A Great Day to Be Alive!
Out and About
October has been a busy month for our Community Outreach and Education team! They met with over 2,200 people through seminars at:
  • Roxbury Multi Service Center
  • Lahey Clinic
  • Boston Medical Center
  • Brown Middle School  
  • Everett High School  
  • UMass Boston  
  • Algonquin High School  
  • Russell Apartments  
  • Dorchester High School  
  • Whitcomb Middle School 
  • The Sommerville Council on Aging's Health and Wellness Fair 
  • Dorchester Community Academy    

If you would like our Community Outreach and Education team to speak at your school or event, contact Kelley Cunningham

Share Your Happiness about the Red Sox Win!
Did you celebrate the Red Sox winning the World Series? Share your picture with us as a part of Happier Boston!

The Big Papi Blues!
Big papi blues
Big Papi hasn't always been this happy this time of year. Listen to the Big Papi Blues



41 West St., 4th Floor
Boston, Massachusetts 02111
Roberta at Fenway What a happy time it is for Boston! When the Red Sox won the World Series last Wednesday, I was reminded of an article that I saw in the Boston Globe prior to this stunning victory that posed the following question, "If the Red Sox lose the World Series, are we still Boston strong?" The article was a great meditation on the meaning of resilience, the importance of determination, and the ability of individuals, groups, and communities to get up after a seemingly insurmountable blow, brush themselves off, and move forward. I'm thrilled that the Red Sox won and have loved how the city has celebrated with such great happiness! As we prepare for Veteran's Day on Monday, I think of all the ways that we witness resilience in the face of tragedy on a daily basis. Whether it is a veteran who has bravely defended our freedom now having the courage to reach out for support as they grapple with post-traumatic stress disorder, or a teen who often believes they are invincible texting us because they've reached a crisis point in a friendship and it is overwhelming, or a regular caller who manages through each day because their morning check in to Samaritans lets them know that someone cares that they are still alive - Samaritan volunteers connect with people and support their resilience with care and compassion. While our work is serious, and we are often with people at their lowest point - we've chosen this work, this place, and this path because we know that it leads to health, and ultimately to happiness. This Monday, as we thank and honor our veterans for the sacrifices they've made, we also encourage them to reach out to the resources available to them, and we celebrate each one who reaches out for help when they need it. We are all Boston Strong - but we are stronger when we rely on one another, when we befriend one another, and when we acknowledge that sometimes it's the strength of those around us that carries us through hard times.

Roberta's signature
Roberta Hurtig, Executive Director
Support after Suicide  

Recent tragic suicides in Newton have mobilized a number of community resources, including Samaritans, to provide support and guidance to individuals, families and organizations as they cope with loss, grapple with fears, and search for ways to respond compassionately. Many people don't know that, in addition to Samaritans' regular and ongoing programs that provide emotional support 24/7 through calling 1-877-870-HOPE (4673), we provide Grief Support Services (including SafePlace support groups and the Survivor to Survivor Network) to those impacted by a loss to suicide. We work in coordination with organizations like Riverside Trauma Center to provide hands-on, personalized support to organizations and communities in the aftermath of a suicide. Our Grief Support Services and Community Education and Outreach staff and volunteers are available to attend and/or staff community meetings and events, to provide guidance and support, as well as to meet with families and friends of those directly and indirectly impacted by the loss.

Running to Prevent Suicide! 
Four Samaritans supporters took part in out-of-state runs last month to raise funds and awareness about suicide prevention. A BIG congratulations to Samaritan runners Blair Balchunas (pictured with family) and Sharon Dennison who ran the ING Hartford Half Marathon, and to our very own Development Manager Kirstie Crawford and dedicated 5K Team Captain and board member Nicole Costa, who ran the Chicago Marathon! Blair, who finished the race in two hours and 44 seconds, was running the distance for suicide prevention "to commemorate the lives of three beautiful souls lost to suicide - Dan Romanos, Andrew Mathers and Doug B. Horak," Sharon was also running in memory of Doug B. Horak. Along with Kirstie, they raised more than $6,000 for our life-saving services.

Applications for our 2014 Boston Marathon team closed on October 31st, and we'll be announcing our 12 new team members on November 13th! They will be joining 8 of our previous runners who were unable to complete the race last year and have received bib numbers again for this year. If you or someone you know has qualified for the Boston Marathon independently and are interested in making your run more meaningful, email Garrett Owen at for information about becoming a part of our Marathon team!
Volunteer Highlight 

Our work would not be possible without wonderful volunteers like Emma (pictured with her dog), who has been volunteering for Samaritans for almost three years. Emma, a volunteer theology teacher, first became involved with suicide Emma Kerry prevention when she was a university student in England and started picking up overnight shifts for the UK Samaritans offices. After moving to Boston with her husband, she was happy to discover our Samaritans office and soon went through our helpline training. After volunteering on the helplines for so long, Emma has come to know some of our regular callers well and finds it very fulfilling to be able to track their experiences and provide nonjudgmental support for those who feel they cannot turn to their friends and family. "It has become increasingly clear to me that people who commit suicide do so for very complex reasons, and it is regrettable that people I have known in my own life who have died by suicide might have had resources for nonjudgmental support if they had only known to look for them. I know that people who are contemplating suicide are experiencing pain in a way I have never experienced myself, and it is really gratifying to be able to provide them with the distraction they need to avoid self-harm or the support they need to lessen the desire to take their own lives."