Everyone knows The Samaritans of RI from our signs at the Pell, Jamestown and Mount Hope Bridges. Being on the bridges is symbolic of our 39 years of dedication to suicide prevention. In the last nine years alone more than 50 callers have referenced bridge signs as how they heard about us. We can't image how many callers in previous years.
But we are more than signs on the bridges. Since 1977, we have been Rhode Islanders who live, work, and volunteer to break the stigma associated with suicide prevention and asking for help. Every day our volunteers befriend the hopeless and alone and yes, sometimes the suicidal. With every caller, we ask "Are you suicidal?" With that question, we are giving the caller a safe, nonjudgmental place to talk. It is often the first step to asking for help from famiies and professionals. We know it is controversial to be on the bridge. But if we can't be there for the hopeless, who will?
"Cross the Bridge to Hope" is the theme of our fourth annual event as TEAM SAMARITANS RI - runners and walkers from the Ocean State participating in the Citizens Bank Pell Bridge Run - 4 miles across the bridge from Jamestown to Newport.
Today, we are asking everyone's help in building momentum to help carry our message of suicide prevention and our team to finish line.