Volunteer Requirements

New!  What Can You Hear? Canadian Public Radio program about the SAMS volunteer experience. Connect here.

NOTE: Hotline volunteering training is an approximately 24 hour training class and a 200 hour  volunteer commitment.

If you are only interested in a  1.5 hour personal development opportunity, please consider taking our “Listening Beyond Words – Learn the Art of Nonjudgmental Listening” workshop.  Connect here for more information.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Samaritans RI Hotline Training Program is not available for Court Ordered Community Service Requirements.


Suicide prevention may sound depressing, but it’s really about hope..the hope we can make a difference by being there for a caller who just needs someone to listen.  See what other volunteers say about this truly rewarding volunteer experience.

Note: For RI and nearby MA area college and university undergraduate/graduate and medical school students, please check with your school’s internship and work/study offices to see if you are eligible to earn college credits or work/study experience.

Anticipated Benefits for our Volunteers

  • Opportunity to be part of a cadre of volunteer leaders in the state’s public health suicide prevention network.
  • Provide volunteers with a challenging, intensive, but rewarding volunteer leadership experience.
  • Opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.
  • Opportunity to acquire excellent communication skills usable in all aspects of life.
  • Opportunity to learn the art of befriending or “nonjudgmental listening” by questioning gently, tactfully, without intruding, encouraging people to tell their own story in their own time and space; refrain from offering advice and instead offer confidential emotional support; always try to see the other point of view, regardless of their own religious or political beliefs.
  • Gain the kind of self-respect, which can only be earned by giving.
  • Meet new, interesting people who share a sense of purpose.

Volunteer Requirements

  • All volunteers must be 18 years of age or older and out of high school.
  • Our hotline volunteer program consists of 21 – 25 hours of classroom training, mentoring by experienced volunteers and a minimum commitment of 4 hours per week and 200 hours of community service within one year.
  • Note to College/University students: We will work with you to schedule volunteer hours around classes, exams and vacations. Most college students volunteer throughout their college experience.  Upon successful, sincere, and enthusiastic participation, we will write a letter of recommendation for graduate school and jobs.
  • Volunteers agree to a criminal reference and professional reference check and to the terms of a volunteer agreement form(s).
  • Training workshops are generally held monthly at The Samaritans of RI Forget-Me-Not Gallery, 67 Park Place, Pawtucket, RI.
  • The Samaritans is not a licensed health care agency and no counseling can happen on our Crisis Hotline/Listening Line.
  • Each volunteer is required to adhere to strict program policies designed in cooperation with 911, the RI State Department of Health, and other community agencies and professionals.
  • Acceptance and continuance as a hotline volunteer is always at the discretion of the Executive Director of The Samaritans.

Can you meet the challenge?

If you’d like to meet the challenge of volunteering for The Samaritans, and you are 18 years of age or older and out of high school, please contact us via email at info@samaritansri.necoxmail.com; through The Samaritans of RI Business Line at (401) 721.5220 or attend an orientation night at The Samaritans of RI Forget-Me-Not Gallery, 67 Park Place, Pawtucket, RI

See the Volunteer Training Schedule for more information!

Suicide Prevention Resources for Rhode Island Residents

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