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World Suicide Prevention Day
Today marks World Suicide Prevention Day, which this year is themed "One World Connected" to remind us that "connections made on multiple levels are a vital part of combating suicide." Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) released its first report on suicide around the world, which found that someone dies by suicide every 40 seconds, a global tally of over 800,000 deaths by suicide globally per year. To put that number in perspective, more people die by suicide annually than by natural disaster or warfare. To quote WHO's mental health director, Dr. Shekhar Saxena, "Now is the time to act." Read More from WHO.

You can help us prevent suicide and help in WHO's mission to lower suicide rates globally by 10% by 2020. Join the conversation on Twitter with #WSPD14, make our social media cover photo your cover photo, and please take the opportunity to tell your friends and family why suicide prevention is important to you.
Lessthan7The 5K is Just Around the Corner!
Have you spotted a 5K Car Card on the T? Tweet us a picture @SamaritansHope!
If you have not yet registered for the 16th Annual Samaritans "Run for Someone Else's Life" 5K Run/Walk and Family Fun Festival - what are you waiting for? It's a wonderful celebration the lives of the loved ones we've lost to suicide that is more than just a 5K. The family fun festival includes face painting, a photo booth, food, a little kid's race, tie-dying, a raffle, and more! Don't forget to bring pictures for the memorial book, and this year we will also be recognizing our loved ones lost to suicide through a memorial ribbon wall that is sure to be an impactful representation of suicide in our community. For more information on what to expect at the 5K, click here.

We need over 150 volunteers to help make the day a success  - consider joining us as a volunteer!

A big thank you goes out to our major sponsors Sunovion, The Red Sox Foundation and Keolis Commuter Services, without whom this event would not be possible. There are still sponsorship opportunities available - talk to your employer today!

If you are interested in sponsoring the 5K Run/Walk and Family Fun Festival or have any questions, please contact Samaritans' Development Manager, Eve Rabinowitz at 5k@samaritanshope.org or call 617-536-2460.
LeslieWhy I 5K: Returning Team Captains Melida and Carlos Arredondo
Carlos and Melida carried this sign in memory of their son, Brian,
at the 2013 5K
Thanks to his bravery in the 2013 Boston Marathon, Carlos Arredondo is now a household name. But before he was known as the hero in the cowboy hat, Carlos tragically lost both of his sons. The first, Lance Corporal Alexander Arredondo, died in action during the Iraq War in 2004, and their younger son, Brian Arredondo, died by suicide in December of 2011. Soon after losing Brian, the Arredondo's learned about Samaritans from a friend and began attending SafePlace meetings. They created Team Walking for Brian for the 2012 5K, and were joined by a group of friends and family.

In talking about the 5K, Melida remembers how shy they were their first time in Artesani Park to remember her stepson, and says that now one of the things she looks forward to most is seeing the familiar faces they have come to know since becoming involved with Samaritans. Though many find suicide a hard topic to discuss, Melida says "suicide is something that can be prevented, and the best way to prevent it is to talk about it. There needs to be a conversation. Even though it is a serious topic, the 5K is meant to be fun and the best we can do for our loved ones is to remember them joyfully."

It can seem hard to have fun while preventing suicide, but the Arredondo's newest way to do so is by challenging Massachusetts residents to take the Ice Bucket Challenge for suicide prevention - with Carlos's help. He has offered to drive to anyone within Massachusetts to help them take the challenge. The first taker? Candidate for Register of Probate & Family Court Felix Arroyo Senior, whose son, Chief of Health and Human Service for Boston Felix Arroyo Junior, will also be joining us at the 5K. If you would like Carlos to come help you complete the Ice Bucket Challenge for suicide prevention, email the Arrendondos.

Carlos and Melida recently sat down with NECN's Jim Braude for a touching interview about suicide prevention, click to watch. They will also be appearing on WHDH Channel 7 Urban Update on Sunday, September 14th and WBZ's Centro on September 20th. Check in with our Facebook and Twitter for updates on when to tune in.

Thanks for all of your hard work for suicide prevention, Melida and Carlos! Donate to Team Walking for Brian by clicking here. If you have participated in the 5K before and plan on doing so again, email us to be featured in our next snapshot!
MicheleWhy I 5K: New Team Captains John and Cheryl Roderick
John and Cheryl's son, Shane
Soon after losing their son, Shane, in February of this year, John and Cheryl were introduced to Samaritans and attended their first SafePlace meeting, followed by a visit to their home by fellow survivors. Though early in their healing process, John started looking into the 5K. In April, looking for a way to "pay it forward" and help Samaritans continue to help others through the services they have found helpful, he started Shane's Team. 

At first, Cheryl was nervous about feeling exposed but after the couple discussed the merits of the event, they decided that they wanted to get the word out there and for people to participate in honor of Shane. She explains, "We're very private people, but the past couple of months we've been anything but private because if we can save one life through telling Shane's story, it is worth it. I was also worried about making people uncomfortable because of the stigma surrounding suicide, but its has been way better than I anticipated - a really positive experience. Along the way, people have been sharing stories and telling us little things about Shane that we had never heard before. A lot of these people were practically strangers to us before, and it's so wonderful learning more about all of the lives that Shane touched. At first, we did not think we would even be able to raise $1,000 and to think that now we have over 60 team members and have raised almost $5,000 brings tears to our eyes. I hope that people can learn from us, and understand this can happen to anyone. A year ago, I would have just said we were a typical suburban family, but we didn't know what we thought was normal teenage behavior turned out to be depression. I hope that others learn from us, and learn the signs and watch for them."


Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, John and Cheryl! Donate to Shane's Team by clicking here. If you are new to the 5K and are passionate about your involvement, email us to be featured in our next snapshot!
StaffBecome a Samaritans Staff Member!
Committed to Samaritans mission to reduce instances of suicide? Consider applying for one of these open positions (click the position for more information):
OutreachOut & About: Community Outreach and Education
With school out for the summer, Director of Community Education and Outreach Program Kelley Cunningham and Samaritans staff met with 600 people for seminars in July at:
    • Goodwill
    • Victims Rights Law Center
    • HouseWorks
    • Brandeis University
    • Everett Public Schools
    • BeLive: Health is Wealth
    • Waltham Council on Aging Health Fair
    • Salem Honors Robin Williams
Kelley shared with us her experience on August 27th at Everett Public School: We conducted a training to 35 Health Teachers and Guidance Counselors in the Everett Public Schools. The curriculum used was "Supporting Our Youth" which was approved on the SPRC/AAS Best Practices Registry. This 3 hour training instructed participants on recent data from the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS); Risk Factors; Warning Signs; Steps to take in a Suicide Risk Assessment; and Tips on how to support a youth who is at risk for suicide. All participants received information on our IM Hear program, helpline number and other valuable resources to best support their students this school year and beyond. Teachers and counselors were thrilled with the program and commented on how important this was in their jobs.
Suicide Prevention training at middle schools and high schools is an essential need.  If your school or community group is interested in learning more about these training opportunities please contact Samaritans Director of Community Education and Outreach,
Kelley Cunningham.
GSSVolunteerBecome a Grief Support Services Volunteer
Training for new Grief Support Services volunteers will be on October 4th, October 18th and November 15th. All three days are required. If you have lost a loved one to suicide and are now in a place where you feel you can help others who are experiencing this loss by facilitating SafePlace and supporting new survivors through the Survivor-to-Survivor Network, please contact Samaritans Grief Support Services Manager, Emily Britt
UpcomingeventsUpcoming Events
Please join us for these upcoming events to support Samaritans:
  • Samaritans' Executive Director Roberta Hurtig will be on WBZ 98.5 Boston Sunday Review to discuss suicide in our community. - Saturday, September 13th from 8 - 9AM
  • Stop by Samaritans' office (41 West Street, Boston) for Banking Night and drop off any funds you have collected for your 5K efforts, go over Team Raiser questions, and get to know some other 5K participants! - Tuesday, September 16th from 6 - 7PM
  • Team Brian Arredondo is hosting a fundraising at Bella Luna Cafe  (284 Amory Street, Jamaica Plain). The fundraiser is $30 to attend and will include free pizza, music, door prizes, a raffle and silent auction! - Thursday, September 18th from 5 - 8 PM
  • 5K participant Melissa Silva is also hosting Dining to Donate at Applebee's Raynham (800 Cape Highway, Raynham)! Please email us if you are able to attend so that we can send you the necessary flyer for 15% of your bill to go towards Melissa's fundraising efforts. - Thursday, September 18th from 4 - 9PM
  • Shane's Team is hosting Dining for a Cause at Ninety Nine (401 Main Street, Tewksbury)! Please email us if you are able to attend so that we can send you the necessary flyer for 15% of your bill to go towards their fundraising efforts. - Thursday, September 25th from 5 - 9PM
  • Of course, we hope to see you all at the 16th Annual "Run for Someone Else's Life" 5K Run/Walk and Family Fun Festival on September 27th in Artesani Park

Hosting a fundraiser to support Samaritans? Email us to include it in next month's snapshot!  

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