The Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands
The Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands was established in 1977 by Monica Dickens Stratton, great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens. With the help of the Army Corps of Engineers in the early 1980's, Monica spearheaded the campaign for the erection of steel barriers on both the Sagamore and Bourne Bridges, virtually eliminating suicide from those sites.
The Samaritans run many programs to answer the needs of our community including:
Crisis Lines -- Volunteers "befriend" callers who are experiencing depression, loneliness, and isolation by listening with compassion and empathy to those who need to be heard and who need to hear a consoling voice.
Community Interaction -- We attend and organize community education events to bring the subject of suicide out into the open, to de-stigmatize the topic, and especially to bring hope to those who are desperate.
Safe Place Support Group -- For every person who takes his own life, there are 7-10 people intimately affected. Samaritan volunteers, who have lost someone to suicide themselves, facilitate sessions to help these survivors cope.
Senior Outreach Program -- Seniors, who are not accustomed to reaching out for assistance, are encouraged to make incoming calls to 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.