Share Your Story

Have you been helped by The Samaritans? We’d like to know your story.

How has The Samaritans inspired hope in your life? You can share your experience with others using your own voice. Give the gift of inspiration and help others find the strength and hope to move forward in their own lives.

All programs are eligible including the Hotline/Listening Line, Safe Place, School Programs, etc. Some stories or excerpts may be used on our website and in our newsletter. Published stories or excerpts will not include names. Submissions to our office however, must include your name, address and telephone number. Address letters to: The Samaritans, P.O. Box 9086, Providence, RI, 02940 or email to

From former Brown University Student Volunteer and now Doctor

“A recent colleague took his own life, which took me back to the days I volunteered with you folks while I was a Brown student… The lessons I learned with the Samaritans have stuck me with me for my entire professional career, and sharing them with my staff recently has been tremendously helpful. I just wanted to thank you all for the wonderful support you provide!”

From Brown University Medical Student Volunteer

“The most important skill I have had to learn as a medical student is how to truly listen to my patients and understand how their life stories actively contribute to their health. It is difficult to learn this from a formal medical school curriculum. Thankfully, I found that my experience as a Samaritans volunteer was perfect for learning this skill. Throughout my time with the Samaritans I experienced both personal and professional growth around my ability to connect non-judgmentally to people and the stories they tell. My patients benefited from this. Since joining the Samaritans, I consistently receive feedback that my patients feel truly heard and understood.”

From a “Cross the Bridge to Hope” Donor

“In tribute to all those who save lives through their efforts, no matter how you do it. You are never recognized when you save a life, yet we hear of it when someone chooses to end their life. You are true heroes. And in tribute to all who run this race for such an important cause.”

A Recent Note from a Past College Volunteer

There was a crying woman sitting next to me on the train today. The Samaritans not only gave me the confidence to ask if she was all right but the skills to talk through her problems and help her feel better about it. By the end of the ride, she was smiling and laughing with me. Thanks Samaritans 🙂

A Letter From a Grateful Mom

“This thank you should have been sent long ago from the mother of a son who had an addiction to alchohol and drugs… he came to my house and tried suicide… I called the Samaritans, got him to talk to them… The Samaritans had the patience and the training to keep him on the phone long enough so that he agreed not to follow through at that time. THIS BOUGHT TIME FOR HIM. After ups and downs and AA meetings… he is now recovered and happily married… I can’t thank the Samaritans enough.”

Words of Recognition

“I just wanted to recognize your untiring dedication to this very worthy cause. These are the most difficult and troubling situations that any person or family can face and the lifeline that groups like the Samaritans provide may be the only hope left.

The brochure was very well developed and extremely resourceful. I believe everyone in Rhode Island should read it because we are all in situations that could use that important  knowledge and support.

Thank you for the time and effort to help others in their worst moments.”

Other Acknowledgments

“No one would believe me when I didn’t feel well. A Samaritan volunteer convinced me to walk into the local emergency room and I got the care I needed.”

“No one in my family cares to listen to me but Samaritan volunteers do. They are there because they want to help not because they are getting paid to listen to me.”

From a Student

“The video is extremely effective and well-done! Thank you so much for sharing it with me! The statistics are astounding. The Samaritans of Rhode Island is an incredible organization that can save lives; I admire those who volunteer and work with the organization. I think this video will be an effective tool in reaching out to people, educating them about suicide, and obtaining donations. It is also a valuable tool for my own research purposes in formulating my final report for a class I am currently enrolled in.”

From our Volunteers

“Volunteering enables me to make a difference in a few people’s lives, if just for the short time our paths intersect. It’s so encouraging to get off the phone with someone, leaving them in a better place than when they called.”

“I always felt that ‘it is better to light a small candle than to curse the darkness’. Everyone should help people no matter how small the help is…”

“Volunteering for The Samaritans of RI for the past four years has been an experience that has taught me how to become a more active and effective listener. As a volunteer I feel genuinely satisfied that I am there to help those who need someone to talk to in times of distress. I feel that I am part of community of volunteers that understand what it means to listen without judgment. Skills learned at The Samaritans have helped me in relationships in my daily life as I am able to closely listen and pick up on the nuances and or problems that may be occurring in my family, friends, co-workers and strangers lives. Befriending is an invaluable life skill because it allows me to be a non-judgmental listener when those around me need me to just listen. The Samaritans of RI first and foremost is place where I have developed as a open-minded, more mature, and patient individual. It is the place where I learned that I truly want to be in the helping field in my future career. ”

“The very lonely repeat callers pull at your heart strings. Some of them have so alienated their family and friends or are so mentally ill they have trouble relating to people and are glad to have an ear even if they repeat the same story over and over. […] If you can convince someone that depression is treatable that is also a very satisfying moment especially if they want and are willing to take a referral.”

“Volunteering for the Samaritans Suicide Hotline has been a truly valuable experience in so many ways. It has not only provided me with a tremendous opportunity to give back to the community, it has also helped me develop skills that will (and already have!) helped me both in my personal relationships and my professional life. Volunteering on the hotline has taught me how to truly LISTEN, to devote 100% of my attention to understanding what the caller is trying to say, and to become more skilled at honing in on what is being communicated subtly and non-verbally. As someone who hopes to pursue a career in medicine, I know this experience will help me so much in the future, in terms of knowing how to communicate with patients and truly listen to what they are trying to tell me. I absolutely know this will make me a better physician, and I am thankful to the Samaritans for teaching me these skills.”

“Volunteering for the Samaritans has taught me a very important lesson—sometimes the best things you can do for someone are to just be there and listen. Before I joined the Samaritans, I was always worried about what to say when a friend comes to me with a problem. As soon as that friend starts listing his/her problems, I immediately start thinking of solutions to these problems. What I failed to realize then is that friends don’t necessarily come to me for solutions, but rather to have someone who is just willing to listen without judgment. The Samaritans has taught me to become a better listener, a better friend, and an overall better person. ”

“Helping Samaritans RI is a very rewarding experience for me. I signed up to volunteer with some apprehension about the subject matter and questions about how I could help. My concerns were put to ease from the first training session and with every communication since. Denise and her team are truly dedicated to helping people and supporting their volunteers. Although my work and family limit how many hours I can commit to Samaritans, I do look forward to getting on the phones and providing help whenever possible to anyone that calls.”

“‘No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.’ This quote from Aesop is how I have always lived my life and when I needed a reason for my Dad’s suicide I was fortunate to find and join the Sam’s family and that was many many years ago.”

“…Working on the hotline has increased my confidence in, and ability to, work under pressure, to stay calm in stressful situations, and to successfully cope with a wide spectrum of problems.”

“I chose to start volunteering at SAMs because I grew up in a community that was affected by suicide, and I had an awareness of how serious an issue it is for those whose lives it touches. I came to SAMs believing that suicide is complicated, often times preventable, and almost always tragic. Volunteering for SAMs has taught me a lot about those who slip between the cracks in our society. There are voices that deserve to be heard, and people who deserve to be cared for, though the resources available are not always adequate nor sensitive to people’s needs. Volunteering for SAMs has given me perspective about the humanity the rests in the simple act of reaching out to a stranger. It has also taught me how to be a better listener and better support for people in my personal life.”

“The Samaritans is one of the first places I got my experience in the field from. As someone who works in the field of mental health, volunteering for The Samaritans helped me to get the experience I needed to be able to work with individuals that have mental health illnesses. As a listening line, The Samaritans improved my communication skills and knowledge. The rewarding aspect of The Samaritans is that I was able to recognize the signs and symptoms of suicide, the questions that need to be asked when assessing an individual for suicide, and it is alright to talk about suicide to a suicidal person. Overall, The Samaritans is a place of growth, and I can proudly say that I not only grew as a professional, but also as a person.”

“I volunteer for the Samaritans because I don’t want anyone to ever feel alone. The fact that people don’t have an outlet, in family or friends, deeply saddens me. Many callers were not shown the love that most people take for granted. The Samaritans is a safe place that people can call to talk to someone completely non-judgmental of their past or present situation. We listen because we are people too. I don’t want to feel alone, thus I believe it is only right to listen and be there for people who would otherwise feel alone.”

“The Samaritans is extremely rewarding. Connecting with strangers and the sense that they are happier because you were there makes me even more sure of my conviction that when it comes down to it people only have each other. Being on the line, helps me to remember that the best, or at least, the least controversial way to help others is simply to hear them out. There are two sides to every story, and the Samaritans has helped me to see that even more clearly.”

“Through Hotline volunteering I have learned more about the spectrum of people in need. I’ve learned more deeply about those who have been called “the chronically suicidal”—both that they exist, and how they need to be listened to. This can be a very challenging and rewarding way to put your ear to the human condition.”