BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Each month, “WBZ Cares” highlights a worthy non-profit organization and tells the story of what that organization does for the community. This month WBZ is profiling Samaritans, a non-profit suicide prevention service. Their mission is to reduce the incidence of suicide by alleviating despair, isolation, distress and suicidal feelings among individuals in the community, 24 hours a day; to educate the public about suicide prevention; to help those who have lost a loved one to suicide; and to reduce the stigma associated with suicide.
Emma Albright is among the 300 volunteers at Samaritans who take calls and texts from people in crisis on the 24-hour Helpline.
“You know a lot of people feel very, very alone and feel afraid to express that they’re feeling so alone. You know our service is unique in that somebody who may not have any concrete connections, or resources, or supports in their life, everybody’s on an equal playing field when they call in. We’re going to listen and give time and space and respect,” stated Albright.
Gita Bhattacharya also acts as a sounding board for those who call.
“Through a conversation, we listen and help them explore what they are going through. It’s called steering towards the pain,” said Bhattacharya.
Albright says they provide a human touch for those who are hurting.
“We really want this to be a conversation. We are not trained professionals in the sense that we’re not therapists. We are humans that can provide a really wonderful and basic thing to another human, which is a connection where somebody can feel heard and listened to in a way that they may not have access to in their everyday life,” stated Albright.
Bhattacharya says they listen and encourage those who call to express their feelings.
“They’re ashamed to think of even what kind of help is out there. They don’t want to talk to their friends or family. You know, it’s hard for them to even call us, but when they do I’m really grateful that they reach out. And I tell them that, you know, I say, ‘it’s hard to reach out like this, it can take a lot of courage,’ and remind them of that,” Bhattacharya concluded.
That 24-HOUR Helpline number is 877-870-4673.
WBZ NewsRadio1030's Doug Cope Reports