The Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands, Inc.
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
That never stops at all.
-- Emily Dickinson
Maura Wilson, Executive Director
P.O. Box 65
Falmouth, MA 02541
(877) 870-HOPE - State-wide
Monica Dickens Stratton, great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens, founded The Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands in Falmouth, MA in 1977. We maintain confidential, anonymous suicide/crisis hotlines, offer outreach programs and teen forums, provide professional in-service workshops, participate in regional conferences and community presentations, and collaborate with a wide variety of other health and human service agencies. In the early 1980s we spearheaded the campaign for the erection of the steel barriers on the Sagamore and Bourne Bridges, virtually eliminating suicide from those sites. To this day, the signs with our hotline numbers are posted at these entryways to the Cape.
Work and Role of Volunteers:
Samaritan volunteers befriend callers on our hotlines 7 days a week, make outgoing calls to at-risk seniors, conduct roundtable discussions, assist public relations and fundraising efforts and recruit and help train other volunteer candidates. Volunteers are the heart and soul of our organization, and embody the essence of who we are and what we do.
It has always been our mission to accept incoming calls from people who are isolated, desperate and even suicidal on our Crisis Lines.
In the SOS (Samaritans Outreach for Seniors) program, we encourage seniors, who are not accustomed to reaching out for assistance, to call our help lines as they face the challenges of living longer. We also make outgoing calls to seniors referred by Councils on Aging, in order to widen their support system. Volunteers, seniors, our Executive Director and the Outreach Coordinators have an ongoing dialogue which provides the compassion of a human voice as well as a safety net for seniors throughout the Cape and Islands.
Our current Communities Help Prevent Suicide Campaign deepens community understanding about depression, mental illness, suicide and the responsibility we all share to de-stigmatize, break the debilitating silence and offer hope.
The goal of the BRAVO (Befrienders Raising Awareness of Veterans Outreach) program, under development in 2009, is to meet the needs of veterans and their families who are dealing with deployment issues, struggling with re-entry into normal every day living upon their return, and worrying that reaching out for help is a sign of failure.
We are participating members of the Cape Cod Consortium for Elders-At-Risk, Community Health Network Area 27, Teen Suicide Prevention Coalition and the Women's Health Care Task Force. Collaborative efforts have included Elder Services, Councils on Aging, REACH (Reaching Elders with Additional Community Help), Partner Agencies involved in the Teen Suicide Prevention Coalition, Veterans Agencies and Cape and Island Food Pantries.