The FUNDAMENTAL FACTS About Suicide Prevention

Samaritans of Merrimack Valley Partners with NAMI Cape Ann in Recognizing National Suicide Prevention Month

The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) Cape Ann, is one of 1000 affiliates within the expansive organization.  NAMI Cape Ann, a grassroots, nonprofit organization working on behalf of either those who suffer or those who care for anyone challenged by daily, mental health issues, serves the Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Essex and Ipswich communities. NAMI Cape Ann provides, at no charge, advocacy from diagnosis to recovery, education, support groups, classes and programs to those…their families and friends dealing with or challenged by mental health issues, living on Cape Ann.  Next month (as part of an ongoing  Suicide Prevention Training partnership) Samaritans of the Merrimack Valley, a program of Family Services of the Merrimack Valley, will partner with NAMI Cape Ann for The Fundamental Facts About Preventing Suicide.

We are grateful for the important work being done by our friends at NAMI Cape Ann,” shares Samaritans of the Merrimack Valley Director Debbie Helms.  We are excited to collaborate for this upcoming program to get the word out to the communities we serve and increase awareness around suicide.

We recently sat down with Malva Crothers who serves as the Vice President of NAMI Cape Anns Board of Directors.  She has had a long history of service in the area of emotional wellness and is thrilled to be working in concert with Samaritans of the Merrimack Valley for this month’s special programming.

Tell us a little about NAMI, and the work that you do in the Cape Ann area?  How did you come to be involved with the organization?
NAMI Cape Ann provides, at no charge, advocacy from diagnosis to recovery, education, support groups, classes and programs to families and friends dealing with or challenged by mental health issues, living on Cape Ann.  I became involved with the organization as I was (personally) looking for a group which supports mental health challenges.  I now serve on their Board of Directors as Vice President and assist NAMI Cape Ann with their Marketing, Public Relations, Membership, Events and Promotions.

The Samaritans of Merrimack Valley is excited to partner with NAMI Cape Ann on September 24, for The Fundamental Facts About Preventing Suicide.  How did the collaboration come to fruition.  Who should attend this program, and why now?
The NAMI Cape Ann and the Samaritans of Merrimack Valley, Suicide Prevention Training partnership came to fruition as we sought out the insights and training expertise of Debbie Helms for our Cape Ann community as we together recognize September, National Suicide Prevention Month.  Joining us for this program will be community leaders, i.e. law and fire enforcement officials, member of the clergy, elected officials, educators, mental health service providers, representatives of Veterans Services, Housing Authority officials and private practitioners.  We expect 25-30 guests to be in attendance.

We live in complex times, with a continuous reel of not so positive news.  The average person’s level of stress is unsustainable.  Can you offer any suggestions for small (daily) practices for others, especially those battling with depression or suicidal thoughts, for combating life’s daily grind?
Random acts of kindness need to be demonstrated not only during Suicide Prevention Week, but on a daily basis.

The Fundamental Facts About Preventing Suicide is an invitation only event.  To learn more about the public programs and services of NAMI Cape Ann please visit their website.  Family Services’ Samaritans of Merrimack Valley strives to reduce the incidence of suicide in the Merrimack Valley and throughout Massachusetts by providing “befriending” to individuals who are lonely, depressed and contemplating suicide or self-injury. Suicide prevention is one of the primary goals of the Samaritans, although services also include postvention services, trainings and seminars, and support groups.  Family Services’ Samaritans is a member of the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention, the Northeast Regional Coalition for Suicide Prevention, and the American Association of Suicidology.

Family Services’ Samaritans provides a free and confidential crisis help line to those who are lonely, despairing, suicidal or need someone to listen. This service is provided by trained volunteers who provide unconditional and non-judgmental “TLC” – talking, listening and caring. This service is available (daily) from 8 AM to 11 PM by calling our Crisis Help Line at 866-912-HOPE (4673), or 978-327-6607.  Please join us on October 20 for our second annual Walk for Hope.  Register here…


Additional Resources:

877-870-4673 – Samaritans Statewide Crisis Help Line

1-800-273-8255 – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-508-532-2255 – Call2Talk

To contact a Samaritans staff member, please call 978-327-6671.


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