Who We Are

Devoted to Suicide Prevention for 44 years and counting!

Everyone at The Samaritans of RI is devoted to suicide prevention and ensuring our programs are offered without cost to residents of our state.

Since our beginning in 1977, our board members, employees and volunteers have been comprised of local residents and students who live, work, study and volunteer in Rhode Island.

By our mission, all core programs are provided free of charge. We offer universal, lifetime support, without regard to medical/behavioral health status; third party reimbursements or ability to pay.

With costs for administration and fund development at a mere 20%, our focus remains – to serve Rhode Island’s hopeless, alone, suicidal, their caregivers and those who have lost a loved one to suicide.

A best practice–proven method of support for Rhode Islanders

The Samaritans, Inc. an independent, Rhode Island 501(c)(3) charitable organization works to meet its mission by providing emotional support through the internationally recognized model of befriending and nonjudgmental listening.  The basis for our efforts is our proven, evidenced based suicide prevention model identified within our Crisis Hotline/Listening Line Outcome Measurement Study as well as our U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) statewide outreach and communication project.*

We understand the needs and experiences of Rhode Islanders.

As local residents, The Samaritans of RI board, staff and volunteers understand the challenges facing Rhode Islanders. We are not strangers to the local headlines in our state and the unique issues our callers face—be it the economy and loss of jobs, the Station Night Club Fire or or the catastrophic floods of last spring.

We understand the challenges of accessing care in Rhode Island.

We are fortunate to have the volunteer guidance of medical experts and emergency responders experienced in Rhode Island’s health/behavioral health care delivery system.  From the doctors and nurses who volunteer at The Samaritans, we have learned the importance of The Samaritans of RI Hotline/Listening Line support when local professional services, for myriad reasons including loss of income, insurance or family support or lack of compliance, are no longer an option.

We understand the diversity of need across our state.

From one end of the Rhode Island to the other, we understand and have direct knowledge of the diversity of need across the state and the challenges of accessing care.

The challenges of Block Island (Town of New Shoreham) where no acute care hospital exists are very different from that of inner city neighborhoods in Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls and Woonsocket where low/moderate income residents are least likely to have access to health care.  The rural areas of Foster and Glocester are very different from the coastal communities of Newport, Middletown and Portsmouth.  Working with RI Emergency 911, as well as state and municipal health care officials, we have developed training protocols with telephone and web referrals reflecting our unique knowledge of our state’s resources.

Because our programs are free, participation is never contingent on third party reimbursements or market share.


Calls to our hotline come from individuals and families as well as referrals from RI 911, emergency rooms, acute care hospital program providers, nursing and group home providers, state agencies, community health and mental health centers, social service agencies, high schools and college counseling programs and more.

No one is abandoned or left behind at The Samaritans of Rhode Island.

The Samaritans believe Rhode Islanders of all ages, who have been marginalized by the stigma of suicide, as well as medical and behavioral health issues, should not be abandoned or left behind.

A local psychiatrist and national researcher said it best when he explained that for many Rhode Islanders, the alternative to The Samaritans is no care at all.

* Our best practice outcome measurement model and other studies are only relevant to the program practices of The Samaritans of RI. Referrals on our hotline are only to RI licensed facilities. For referrals to individuals, please contact your primary care doctor or health insurance provider.

Suicide Prevention Resources for Rhode Island Residents

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