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Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Erin
Erin Nugent
Erin Nugent lost her father to suicide when she was just a toddler, and, like many survivors, feels that her loss has shaped her life. Erin, a police detective back home in Australia, was drawn to police work because she always wanted a career that helped people. She was intrigued by mental health and suicide, but it was not until she moved to Boston that she was able to find the time to volunteer to help those struggling. After completing befriending training to provide support over the phone, text, or chat in August, Erin now works several shifts a week at Samaritans.

"Befriending training has really taught me how to be a better listener in all aspects of my life, not just at Samaritans," said Erin. "When most people listen to their friends or family talk, myself included, I think we immediately start thinking about ourselves and what story we can tell to relate to or top the story the other person is telling. But now that I have gone through the training, and actively use that training several times a week talking to people in need, I have become a better friend and listener in general. The training has taught me to reevaluate situations and made me realize that sometimes people just need to talk and be heard - they do not need me to give advice. It's hard because my first reaction, and I think this is the same for most people, is to want to fix the situation, but you can't always do that, and the same listening and evaluating that helps me be a better befriender, also helps me be a better friend."

As we reflect on 2014, we give thanks for the many people in our community who volunteer and support those who reach out for help. Your gift goes directly towards providing training for volunteers like Erin, and providing support and relief to those who are despairing, isolated, or grieving. Every little bit helps, no gift is too big or too small.

Saying Farewell to Roberta
Chief Felix Arroyo, Roberta Hurtig, Samaritans' Grief Support Services Dir. Debbie DiMasi, and Mayor Walsh at the 2014 Breakfast for Hope 
After more than 12 years as Samaritans' Executive Director, Roberta Hurtig is stepping down from her position at the end of the year.  Under her leadership, Samaritans has expanded our service in the types of services provided and area covered. We have more than doubled the number of volunteers, tripled the number of people served, and more than quadrupled the level of financial support needed to deliver our services free of charge.

We will miss Roberta greatly, and we know those of you who know her will as well. We have been getting some wonderful tributes as people have been learning of her departure, such as this note from the 5K captain of Nino's Team, Deana Struppa, "Wishing you all the best on your future endeavors!! Thank you SO MUCH for your constant support.  Please know it means the world to families like mine who have suffered a terrible loss. Samaritans has truly made a difference to our family and so many others, and for that we are beyond grateful. You have done a wonderful job. Thank you for always going above and beyond; the world needs more people like you."

Though Roberta will leave big shoes to fill, we look forward to welcoming Steve Mongeau as Executive Director as of January 1, 2015. Steve has a strong personal connection to our mission having lost his sister, Kathy, to suicide, and is familiar to many of you. He has been a member of our board since 2007 and served as the board chair, volunteered as a Crisis Services volunteer and is active in all of our events.

We are hosting two events to honor and celebrate Roberta's legacy: a fundraiser on December 2nd, and an Open House on December 15th. Click here to inquire about either.

Have A Loved One Who Survived A Suicide Attempt?
We are hosting a focus group for family members of those who have survived a suicide attempt to learn what services are of value to these family members as they deal with their own feelings of trauma, their concern for their family member, and their need for information and resources to support themselves and one another.

Do you know of someone that might be interested in participating in such a focus group? To learn more or register for this focus group that we are hosting in collaboration with Riverside Trauma Center and the Department of Public Health, contact our Grief Support Services at safeplace@samaritanshope.org or 617-536-2460.
Out & About: Community Outreach and Education
Director of Community Education and Outreach Program Kelley Cunningham and Samaritans staff met with over 1,000 people at seminars in October all over our service area, including Community Resources for Justice, Rockland Street Elderly Housing, Cambridge Women's Center, and many more.
Certificate of Appreciation presented to Kelley
by the New England Army Recruiting Battalion

Kelley presented to the Boston Area US Army Recruiting Company - a wonderful opportunity for Samaritans to work directly with active soldiers in the military. Suicide is a serious concern among active soldiers and veterans, and it is now required for active soldiers to receive annual suicide prevention training. The class was very involved, asked many questions and expressed their concern for fellow soldiers. Battalion Commander LTC Stuart Furner was particularly pleased with Samaritans' expertise, and has asked to schedule future trainings. 


We are sad to announce that after over 7 years at Samaritans, Kelley will be leaving her position as Director of Community Education at Outreach and beginning a new position in suicide prevention though the Department of Public Health. We wish her well and are thrilled that she will still be working in suicide prevention. If you or someone you know are interested in learning more about a position in Community Education and Outreach at Samaritans, click here.   


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, please contact Ron White


Welcome Rae!
Rae Williams
Rae Williams
Please welcome our newest staff member, Rae Williams! Rae hails from the Rocky Mountains, specifically Denver, CO. She became the first person in her family to attend college, and majored in Psychology at Colorado State University. She then moved to Boston in 2011 to attend Boston College and obtained a Masters in Social Work with a macro discipline and concentration in children, youth and families. To Rae, depression and suicide are matters that hit close to home, and her passion to provide education and support in these areas brought her to Samaritans.  In her free time, Rae likes to travel, read leisure books and witty blogs, as well as indulge in landscape photography and new restaurants. She also happens to be an avid watcher of the TV shows, Scandal and The Walking Dead. Don't worry, our former Text/Chat Manager Beata Momtaz isn't going anywhere - Beata will be serving as Samaritans' first Training and Quality Improvement Manager.

Would you or someone you know make a great addition to Samaritans' staff? We are currently searching for a new Development Coordinator, click here for more information on this exciting position.
Upcoming Events
  • Join us for an "Unforgettable Evening" with musical and comedy performances to support 2015 Boston Marathon team member Michelle "Mo" Wheeler - Sunday, November 23rd at The Jade Dragon from 4 - 8PM (1087 Elm Street, Manchester NH)
  • Samaritans' Memorial Event, a nondenominational event open to all survivors, will be held at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington - Sunday, January 4th from 3 - 5PM with a reception to follow (630 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington Center)
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