"I'm Listening" special broadcast: Local hour with the Samaritans

Weekend Shows
Wednesday, September 13th

WAAF's Mistress Carrie sits down with the staff of The Samaritans on National Suicide Prevention Day. Included in their services, a 24/7 Hope Line, and crisis service, grief support and community education and outreach. For more information call or text  1-877-870-HOPE or log onto www.samaritanshope.org. This program aired on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017.

01:01:08

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

I'm listening. A special nationwide are your advantage on world suicide prevention day continues lines from the Entercom studios in Boston. Now use your host for our number three yeah. Mistress Carrie. From WPA yes. Right casting live from the WA AF studios at Entercom Boston my name is Mistress Carrie thank you very much for tuning in in continuing the discussion about I'm listening. I'm joined here. By some people that are doing this work every day. And they're doing it locally with the samaritans Ron white the chief program officer. Annaly Brit the manager of grief support beach mom tie as the manager training and quality improvement. And also is Steve Mon June the executive director of the samaritans thank you so much for coming in today. And continuing this discussion now on a local level we had been listening to. Bill the last two hours. To musicians and artists and athletes and just everyday people talking about how they have been impacted in one way or another. And now we really wanna focus if you've been motivated. If you are looking for resource is if you want to learn more but now on a local level. The samaritans is doing this work locally. Every day and we wanted to really welcome you command and talk about you work so thank you so much for coming in. Think you missed. So I want to begin. Steve because. There's so many different facets of a suicide or suicide attempt and the narrative is really changing with everything that we just heard an everything that we had been listening to. About just how society views suicide and the work that's been done. Not only in the last year or two years were really going back in just how we view this problem. And your. The experts you are on the front lines you are combating this issue from many different sides. And sort really wanted to talk about what the samaritans. Is how you go about the work that you do and how people can. Seek help seek help for their loved ones and also get involved. Sure thank you mrs. area I really need to thank the hole and it. Network stations era having this program the last couple of hours and helping get the word out. Raising awareness whose. Surely the most significant challenges across the country. And I also wanna stressed your listeners that samaritans. Suicide prevention work. We are part of the national suicide prevention lifeline so if you're dialing that number from Massachusetts remember more than likely is coming into the americans' crisis banner. In downtown Austin. We also provided. Local member in the state that you can dial 877870. Hope. Which is 4673. And for the younger listeners we know they preferred attacks. There you can text that same number 24/7. And someone will respond to your ex and the Massachusetts or New England area where your bizarre. The 877870. Hope caller text when he forced them. You know listening earlier it it brought me back and you know knows more than thirty years ago at this point that I lost my sister to suicide. And I can remember that day when I was on my hands and knees. Tile floor in order of my home outside of Pittsburgh. And when the phone rang it. And we have Felton whose it is but it's that in my life that meat in it where it is called Mac. Which used in the doorways and I think you. Brother. And when he shared with news that the path ended like those I can't value. That exact conversation. And you feelings and emotions were. Unbearable. My daughter who was four years old with the name. Sixteen years after that when she was in college here. The writer and feature stories and the message in the that they might daddy cried each year effort to. And severe pain the disbelief. The I just couldn't wrap my mind around this wonderful loving woman one loving sister and you know made the decision. And as some of the prior. Speakers. While isn't mentioned it's really namely lightning event and we saw the whole range. And people do that. Thinking to. The meant so much pain. And in my life and also law. Rubber and Aoki who won me the husband. And earlier in life and school and college. Coworkers. Neighbors. And as you heard people from all walks aligns well it is. That they get to we. Is that permanent solution to temper problem. Listeners can hang on and we can help them root are. Dark moment. In the act of suicide. And they can on men and we know from talking to with it and survivors. But over 90% of them in. It to mean like the right thing to do. So if we can help in any of Europe if feeling vulnerable is concerned but on the caller access. Them and zero. Or sixth infantry. Let's note on. Our services free confidential and anonymous. And we just yet though with and so it despondent. Anxious feeling lonely you don't have to be with. We'd like to read. Before you rate. That we can hope. You'll ever. What I think is really interesting what we were listening to over the last couple of hours is people keep referencing an illness like cancer. And if you know someone that that is sick with an illness. You know about it the family talks about it you can read on their social media pages they'll have events to support that person and fund raise and what's amazing is the more people that opened up in this discussion about suicide you really do start. Realizing that everyone around you has been impacted or affected by it in some way. Yet it's never really been talked about and once you start the discussion and you realize that you are not alone. You're not alone in your experience whether it was a friend or family member a loved one or yourself. That is that it's not. Something that should have a stigma. That it is something that collectively it's an experience we all share in one way or another and that if you talk about it AK and get better. Absolutely and you know. Give a lot of personal thanks to most Americans have been the executive director there for about two and a half years but. Who is probably fifteen years ago and I discovered samaritans. And that's where I found platform Stanley found a platform we that your feelings oh. We've spent the previous opinions not ignoring what happened not known how to pocket. And I can I'm incredibly hopeful wanna go back thirtieth afar with Tom that whether having a program like this today sharing this message. It's so inspiring and so hopeful. They were headed in a wonderful direction. Let's talk about that a little bit because it it's been in the news so much recently whether it be with professional athletes and CT EU war. Here at WA AF with musicians like Chester Bennington in Chris Cornell that are the most recent examples but the samaritans has been around since 1974. This work has been being done. From the time they were just a small organization until today you say June you've been their for the last two and a half years. But this work in the samaritans have been around a really long time. And has a rich history of of success in a lot of ways. Absolutely it's as that over 42 years in the greater Boston market and our tagline is then you're not alone. And a parent and I needed someone near me and samaritans listen for the thirteen teams and hearing. And Adam you know and Mayo case again. Fifteen years ago first learned about matter and that's when I go to one there and and making plays and raised my hand view here. And when I was a volunteer in the ice and a little skeptical and just talking things through these. Entitlement referred at a caller oh. It was right it was during the month of October and he told me. He was going to and a slight January. Iowa news and we're. Doing and why he was and you want it to join the mountain. On the second anniversary. And that. It lost and when he practically know him and it's been excruciatingly. And I am like many collars and they keep many many. During the month. But the space in between calls and greater and greater right before. He called. Thank you for being let me sort some things in the rest him. So that with a powerful moment lower. Rates help lines really. Really. And in my own case. Eleven years ago we missed that at the steam. And where involved in the irons five K run walk for suicide prevention. And will be. Running and walking for the eleventh time in that in the 23 locally. Are. And I am a fan of that and my family. Eight siblings with before it. Goes it's not that one of the big fan who fifty people go to. After that first run walk. Remember. In davis' Hamlet act on it gave us an opportunity. In. Years stories. Path with her grandchildren. And children. Honor him in a meter. But now it as a parent because earth. We're able to. There's stories in a woman who she was. There it's not that deep dark secrets. Being kept them. We talk about the the five K and and I think it's important that all of the services that the samaritans offer our free. They're confidential you were talking about earlier if you're listening. This stay where I help line 877870. Hope. There are. Many different services that you offer depending on your. Experience. With suicide whether it be your own suicidal thoughts whether it be trying to prevent a family member or friend or the grief process afterwards. We could be someone that hasn't been personally affected. By someone within your own social circle but maybe. I you've been inspired to get involved. Because of a musician or an athlete or someone that you just heard about on the news. All of the different resources it's all the same number 877870. Hope or 87787046. 73. And I wanna talk a little bit because. I think when it comes to suicide you only hear. Is this the negative side and you were talking about the success stories. And I want to talk about the sheer number of people that are using the service. Every year because. This Merrins has been around a really long time and there are a lot of success stories that maybe people weren't aware of because they're only hearing about. The successful attempts and they're not hearing about. This suicides that have been stopped in to help that people have received because of it and the numbers are pretty staggering and the success numbers that you have do you. Wanna share some of those. Sure we you know on the help line we take between eighty and a 100000 calls in the race and every year. And if with the help of over 300 volunteers. That we get that work and and little later my colleagues here in detail that beatable these Iranians on your experience that. It's if you believe. In the concept of it well and he and then listening with a compassionate non judgmental here can help them but he. You can be eligible to be here in fifteen years of age girl but which enemies and lecturer. That there can be people can be trains to get involved with those that you don't just have to be. At a certain background with a certain education of a certain age that it really is something that all people can be welcomed into this experience and and these volunteers. They're doing. Amazing work you said. Since the samaritans. Evolved from 1974. They've handled 2.5 million calls chats text from just at risk individuals alone. That's right. And with trained you know for over 4000 volunteers all over the years so. It it's remarkable work and if I'm ever having a rough day I'll have to do is walk into crisis thinner and thank a volunteer for being there. May turn around they know thank you this with such rewarding work incredible. And it is so inspiring to see people's words and giving four hours of life every week to come and others in pain and help them through it. It the the magical place and it's very hopeful. And I think it's important that the same phone number can receive calls for some people who may be more comfortable reaching out that way. But that it can also received texts at the same number. For people let me be a little more or nervous or afraid to reach out and wanna have it be a little bit. It's more separated or more impersonal that maybe they want to reach out at first via text answer your phone number does vote. Yes it has both and a Yeltsin you know one of the other benefits texting especially for younger people first the most preferred method of communication anyway. But they can be experienced on a bus or in the play Butler. You know. Should say between classes not during class and wanna control what they do out there but. You know. And then I could be over heard that they can be maintained can be private if not uncommon for us get a text from someone on a school bus you know where it concerns about the day. And then the follow later with in a break and it just provides the means that there. And in addition to. Crisis hotline you'd mentioned that in Wales would agree supports go for people who were survivors of both lives. We have. A couple programs that Emily fears some information that we serve over 11100 people. And your support groups in the course of the year we effort with these pleas mean. And we also do a lot of community education and outreach that. Ron Wolf you know some people and non we do suicide prevention workshops. In the community. With everyone from gatekeepers who could be coaches he chooses winners. First responders. And also appeared here program that is especially popular. With teams and high school classrooms. Where we help them to be on the look out one another and help them understand. That if they are struggling. It's a good idea pocket and it very in the guidance offices in the schools we eat at. We'll palace the the days following you know. Its commitments and struggling and need some help Americans told me talk about it here. It's making it. The more there there definitely. Is some statements that I think that some older people are still trying to get over in that. These suicidal thoughts can be temporary. And most often are temporary. And that there isn't the stigma that there once was that your just crazy war. That you shouldn't talk about it and you'll be better off just suck it up in dealing with it. And it seems that the more than discussion happens the more people realize that. This discussion does help. And just giving someone an outlet in a way to talk about things in our. And a way for people to reach out amongst their peers did this statistic that I found the most striking is that 90% of the people who survived a suicide attempt. They don't die by suicide days it 90% is a massive. Percentage of people. That you're able to stop before the decision is final. And somehow get involved whether it be friends family or just that anonymous volunteers that it's. That was just there in that one split second moment of crisis when they needed someone. So we wanted to talk to it to beat and we have a whole roomful of people. And all of your different experiences in and levels of expertise all fall under the umbrella of the samaritans with all of the different. Services that you offer wanna give out the phone number again it's 877870. Hope. It's where you can go for information about all the different facets of the programs that the samaritans offers but talk a little bit about what your area of expertise is. So I am the manager meaning in quality improvement for the crisis at the volunteers that are answering the appliance. Better answering the phone calls and text messages tasks. I train them detain them to be able to kind of rewire their brains as as human beings we like to give advice and we like to problem solve. And that's not always the best thing to be doing for someone who is killing societal and who is he is struggling and it's not. It's not what we do on line what we do we don't we're not there as someone not counselors which is life. Anyone can do work that we do not trying to. It's the poem that someone is going through what we're trying to do is. And I think them and actually talked about this but I'm listening program. Hours earlier by. But creating recipes where someone can talk about whatever their feeling whether it's happy or. And not be giants weren't not and it minimized and not have a change the subject them manipulate. You know I'm here and hearing what you're saying I want to understand what you're going through you're not alone in math and just. You know share more with me is because like there. Well it it we were talking about it with a different illnesses that you can find a support group if you are a cancer survivor you confined to support. Very easily but when it comes to mental illness and suicide. It's a little bit more difficult and you're also a little bit more nervous to really open up and say I need this kind of how I don't know weird ago. Where as you would be very vocal to ask for help if you were having back pain. And so creating a force of volunteers. That are so eager to wanna stand up and be recognized and say I aim here for you know. So talk to me about the training process and who can get involved and what that training is. Is involved so it's to plant comprehensive training like Steve said fifteen years in order that's who get involved. You know it doesn't matter what you do for work it doesn't matter. What your ages. All that matters is that that you're open to coming in and year opened it kind of learning about the work that we Q and your open two of my both of us kind of scene is this the right fit for you. And then going through that training so we have a class from component where we talk about different things and people. You know we talk about that aside we talked about the stigma around it we talk around it. We talk about you know how to. Like how to kind of how these kind of conversations how to be okayed and sit without pain. Because. You know a lot of a lot of individuals we hear about suicide we hear someone feeling societal and we're immediately afraid we're. Immediately kind of feeling prone to it how to keep this person's. And our mind those bare and it jumps to that and then we kind of loose wheel. It's not about it is about keeping them safe but it's also about what brought them here and how can we help them work. And so we trainer volunteers to kind of get a little comfortable with that conversation. And you know and after the class from component and we go into. Getting them comfortable on actual live conversations. And ensure that you know. Work with them again and that point where both there wrote in Europe and have been answering beef is the calls in the fifth. It really is a testament to the human experience and just recently with all of the the visuals that we've all seen on the news with the hurricane. And and ended the every day people that have stepped up to help their neighbor in need for me it really does TV the sense of community and and they even though a lot of the images that we see on TV are so negative. That there are those people that are willing to come in and say you know it's not all bad. This is temporary there are people here that love you and care for you and want to. The a source of strength for you because this is a temporary thing in most cases and what we were talking about the the the the root behind the suicidal thoughts is usually something temporary and if it's not and it's a longstanding battle with mental illness. That there are resource is there that can help but the isolation and the feeling that. I'm alone is is something that. You hear over and over again the last two hours of the I'm listening special people were saying I thought I was alone and didn't know where to go Mary and that's only keep giving the phone number out because if you're just tuning in. The samaritans based right here on Abbas has been doing this work since 1974. With a fleet of volunteers you can get all the information you can reach out yourself or fall on behalf of a loved one. At 877870. Hope 8778704673. And what are some of the things that these volunteers come back and talk to you once they start this work they go through training. And then what's the kind of feedback you get from them once they actually start doing work. Actually mean we have amazing volunteers and everything which is pretty much volunteer base and we talked about her beats for partners as well with crisis services I mean. It it is a life changing thing for them. I pure. Pretty much from every volunteer. That. This has changed this experience has changed their life the experience has made them realize how important connection is how important and nonjudgmental. Support can be how important active listening fumbling can actually be and you know. What we hear when when our volunteers doing the kind of moving on to the next step and life Netflix and we'll carry this with me. 1 whenever I am doing. Wherever I go and you know we we get people who were like you know I did this on a whim because I won it. A volunteer opportunities and one I've learned here is and what I'm taking with mean like I can even think you that's enough. And you know or at the palace about I've made lifelong friends here so you know you think about a crisis center and heaps Steve kind of touched on it this is a really an area of hope you think by you know you might think common occurrence offender everything's going to be serious and like whirling Burlington in particular. Topic of conversation people gonna be upset or. Whenever my speed but then when you go in that environment and it's actually is very supportive environments. Our motto being you're not alone it's for everybody who's in that. Environment not just our the users of our services it's our volunteers the staff it's whoever. Is with us. And we we we have that community of going through my house so. It is very much talent and experience that that more often than not if I'm an African. And it's changed me as a human being. When you talk about suicide you think about the person that has the suicidal thoughts and you. You think about that person in their crisis in and see you were talking about earlier that. They feel lie a this is the best thing for for them and and it's in that moment. They feel like they're making the right choice or it was the only choice that they had an it was a means for them to reach out. But it really does involve everyone around you that loves you and we've referenced and only a few times but one or the other. One the other. Functions of the samaritans. Is to be their for the friends and family. That are involved whether the person that they love. Is battling a mental illness that is having suicidal thoughts or may have gotten to the point where they've been successful in her suicide. And the samaritans are also there. As a support system for the family and the loved ones as well. And hackers purchasers this program we have two services that we offer. Like all of her other programs very confident. And really focus on action. All of our services and expert services are based on appear models with our hope and really what we've seen as. Being able to connect with others of similar experience. Can really help alleviate some of the pain or Harrington have months I'll walk alongside Ruth and so Peter referenced are volunteers we have wonderful volunteers if our home is it in our support groups. Overall experience lost just as well. And their place now journey where they are saying okay I'm going to be there for others as others prepare for me. And so we do have support groups of six across. Greater Boston Worcester. Austin Needham NC Medford Framingham and monster. On the twice month for. They're drop and the people need to register you can find. The locations and once I reach us on nine lifted and they have publications meeting times. And just drop into the group and see what's going on and share experience as. Everyone there's fairness hair and hopefully people can here's something that resonates with them and I'm not only want experience not the only one who's in first thing in the morning it's it's like a tsunami hitting me. And there are other people who were there and the whole meeting EC people nodding their heads and talking and that sort of thing. What I hear most commonly after someone. And their first meeting as and I felt like it was going Kris it's like being roller coaster or ankles going backwards. And I'm not going this is normal. For this. Because it is so nice. And. And there's also is stigma attached to it where the loved ones that are left behind or somehow. There's an expectation put on them that they should have been in a position to stop and then they should have known they should've seen the warning signs. So not only are they coping with their own loss of a loved one but then they're also somehow unwillingly saddled with this. Blame but that is completely irresponsible to put on someone. Because the person that was suicidal. In a lot of ways. You know is just with this the things we hear in the news with the celebrity people's I had no idea they were able to put on such a brave. Front they even people that saw them every day at work family members friends did their own spouses. They really didn't. Know. That this was going on inside their loved one and and then the feeling afterwards of your errors survivor's guilt in an and who else could possibly understand what I'm going through right now. I can't imagine the weight lifted off the shoulders of those people when they walk into a room with people that know it. Exactly how they feel. It's an amazing thing and you know. It's a testament. To see people come Wear and immense pain and immense grief and men's earnings one be there and listen to someone else and support them. It's such a beautiful thing which is I think. Another thing that are volunteers talked about and being able to create an environment for people to come together and support one another. What can sometimes in the darkest. Hour. And then we also do home visits not another avenue that people can connect as a mention Oliver volunteers have lost went to this themselves. And that compares to meet with someone who maybe they're not near worker and they just can't physically get there. Or perhaps they're just not ready can be your really intimidating thing. To go and make yourself on her home to a whole group of people eat out now. I'm gaelic your own display exactly. And you don't know what happened. But a home visit. It can be in your home another place it's freedom and libraries that are office it's an opportunity that's more one on one. I was volunteers that their experiences. And to just get additional support because. It's so hard to go out and talk. What you're experiencing. Which is why we talked about a recent statements and the more people who talk about it you know. I was out in Amherst. For something for work and I happen to bump into a gentleman we're having conversations story and recently here are hunting somewhere for my job I told might do and he's about my sister's boyfriend. You know different you know it's entirely sane people to share. But the more you talk about it the more you realize this has affected. So many people you truly are not our own we don't know. Because we're not talking. And so again that's the five K it's a beautiful place. It's a wonderful place for survivors come into its support. And see that you're not alone it's we have thousands of people com. And raise funds and block for suicide prevention and honor in memory of their loved ones. Really celebrate the lives in the time. The five case happening on Saturday September 23. It's at artist sunny park a right here in Brighton. And now all of the details can be found on your website. And I know a lot of people if they're tuning in a little late they may not understand. What we're talking about but. My name is mr. Carey I'm hosting this locally focused hour of I'm listening with volunteers and members of the staff at the samaritans. And I think of the things you touched on that I really wanna focus on is appeared appear shy because when you talk about suicide. It's it's so different. Depending on the experience of the person having suicidal thoughts. And the age range of the volunteers that you train can be anywhere from fifteen years an op because. Pairing of volunteer. With someone and who is either thinking about suicide themselves or they are suffering grief over the loss of someone. This there's circumstances. Behind that are so different. We just had a lot of college kids moving to the Boston area it's the first time their way from home they could be extremely far away from their entire social circle in support system. We talked about on the news all the time about those veterans' suicide epidemic. The pressures of high school kids especially with bullying and social media. With an economy that goes up and down you could have people that are older that may have lost their job for the first time. So really being specific in the pairing of a volunteer with someone. That has firsthand knowledge of of the struggles. That this person could be going through or the family and friends that are left behind. I think there's a real strength and that any real understanding so you're not saying oh this person couldn't possibly understand. What I'm going through them. Absolutely I mean again this is. Why are its own minds are staffed by volunteers. You know there everyday people who are there to say. I'm here to listen and hear a walk alongside you and what you're experiencing matters and that's what happens our support groups also now. You don't have to be alone in this anticipate comments I am having hard time and I am really struggling. Because the other people on the ground are nodding their head and I think hand me two. And that alone I think. Personally I think that we thrive off of connection. And we wanna be validated as we search for and meaning. And that's what happens there's merit and through any of our programs. The beautiful thing. Well you see the world move bonds. After your loss to new donors samurai the west to the rest of the world is in a grieving the same as you are. And in a society where so many things are disposable. Where so many things are or will whatever is popping up on my Twitter feed tomorrow. You could have lost someone and 2030. Years ago and that loss for you is still as fresh as if that happened yesterday even though the world. Has moved on and so there's no expectation of of I timeline no wind you should just be overeat and have gotten better and I want to involve Iran in this conversation is welcome you've been I feel bad about my back turned TI don't want you to think that. May I remind people that you're here as well but. Your work with the samaritans. To it's it's a real all encompassing organization that focuses on every one that needs the help. That's right and so much of the work that we do. Is. Around suicide prevention and education community education. So we're there to go out to schools. Workplaces. Problem. Hunger get living facilities for older adults really anybody that will have us. We share the message of now what we do to talk about warning signs. And how you can help. Into reinforce the message that it you don't have to be a doctor. To do CPR and someone who needs and you don't have to be a psychiatrist helps someone. Struggling with suicidal thoughts and ideas. Eventually yes it takes a team of people. But at that one moment you were caring for waste your ability to listen. Your ability to ask that question directly and calmly. And then nonjudgmental way I can mean the world to someone that that may be the first time. That they are able to acknowledge those feelings and talk about them openly. I think is really important for someone that's listening that may be is a manager to business. That has no personal experience with suicide whatsoever and may be an employee. Did war. You're always looking for guest speakers or people to kind of involving your business that people can reach out to the samaritans like you were just talking about. And and have. A class act she just for your employees just to say you know what we. You know we get involved with a lot of different things whether they be an environmental program or health programmer weight loss program. That this is a program at the samaritans offers to come out it tier business to your church group to your volunteer group you're peer group. And this is knowledge that anyone can obtain it's something that at some point unfortunately you're probably going to need it. And so to have the access to it in in a free community based way. Is there real. A real benefit and something that people can call that same number that we've been giving out 877870. Hope. And you can get. Your business signed up for these classes welts on how does that work people. Come out and no run a class or walk me through that there. We're we are very flexible. I'm you know time is. Precious to everybody today and we recognize that so sometimes in the classroom we've got fifteen minutes to deliver that message in the workplace it could be a lunch and learn for an hour. We if gatekeepers teachers may be we have an hour and a half up to two hours so we human and make the best use of that time possible with with folks. And it doesn't IE you know we were at I'm. Teaching staff. Who who work with homeless folks about these warning signs how the hell. It was sent off Friday on a Monday there was a message from a woman who had attended that class. Who over the weekend was helping a family member and she said she never expected. That she was gonna use those skills in her personal life she thought that that would apply only to the clients she worked with. And she was grateful that she had spent that an hour and was able to help her family member kept to a place where they were. Willing to accept help. It really is amazing to hear a success story like that because. Like we were talking about earlier you don't hear the success stories a lot of times you don't hear that more often than not people. Are being saved and it's not just by a psychiatrist it's by their peers support its by a friend. A loved one a coworker or someone that just. Was there ends. So people are listening I did I do wanna give out a little bit of of basic information about. If someone and has a family member or friend are there are some basic warning signs are there some things that you could say OK these are the things. That maybe they're not recognizing. That would maybe I should call the samaritans for this loved one I didn't realize it until I heard. That that could be a warning signs that maybe something. Is wrong. Yes there there there certainly are and I would say up front with warning signs that can be hard message for people who have lost someone to hear. Because of that that that out in the blame. His works. Front and center in their minds and fortunately. And these warning signs it's it's often connecting the dots with everyone in that person's circle. So they are preoccupations with suicide or death and that might be through books music art films. It is feelings of sadness or hopelessness and I really especially hopelessness it's a word we hear on the hotline. Over and over again that feeling that this will never be better. It is changes in behavior. People isolating themselves not engaging in. Activities. In which they normally engage it may be at least they stopped using social media they eights stop reaching out to friends. It's people who take unnecessary risks that might be driving while intoxicated. Over Medicaid being misusing drugs or alcohol. People who have had a recent loss and that doesn't mean just the physical loss. It it certainly would be you know a loss of a job or relationship could be the loss of fewer life during no I wanted to go to medical school. Because my father and grandfather did. And I don't make that putt. That's another kind of loss. And feeling like your burden to others this sense that bomb the world it would be better off with help me that that self talk that. Is constant. Lee saying. People would be better. If I were no longer part of this world. And she's one of the most obvious warning signs is the direct verbal cues that people get when they say things like. I don't wanna be here anymore I wish I were dead you'd be better off without me that that's the time. To. Ask the question are you feeling suicidal are you dealing with thoughts of suicide. And we want to ask that question. In a way that's direct and not the dancing around the question. You know if you if you're shaking your head back and forth no insane. You're not thinking about hurting yourself or you got the message you're sending our I don't wanna hear yes I'm afraid to hear yes. That's why it's so important to ask it directly only. And then let them know that and it's it's a safe environment you can tolerate hearing about their darkest thoughts and feelings. It seems to be a trend when you talk about suicide now in changing the narrative and just the language. That gets used. We all spoke earlier this week in preparation for today and I found it really interesting just in in the word commit. And that most people will say oh he committed suicide and I have never really connected the dots with what that word. Means. To the person that was suicidal and the stigma that's associated with that can you talk a little bit about just changing. The language and and really the perception. Around suicide. Any of you yet just well it commit. Is. We commit sins we commit crimes. And you don't commit a heart attack you don't commit cancer. I'm so we'd like to we want to change the language used the people die by suicide. As opposed to commit suicide because the blame does not lie with that person that person who dies by suicide. Is in intolerable pain and what they want is for their pain to end anything that it takes to end their pain. An end to be clear there's blame anywhere around there's also no blame for the family members and it's and that's survivors of it that. If there isn't this thing that needs to be handed off to someone. And someone has to taking it that it's not. The person that suicidal but it's also not the family members that didn't recognize the signs that weren't obvious that their loved one was in pain. That's right and you know we have talked with many suicide attempt survivors who palace. And that they felt like a burden to their loved ones for their family and they very consciously. Did everything they to put on a happy face in front of the people who they were closest to because the last thing they wanted to do was be a burden to them. So that's. Why the community education program is so important. You know a wonderful success story there is a gentleman who called me instead. You know my kind of been struggling but I thought we were you know really doing fine he seemed great the last couple Freeman everything was going in the right direction. But I got a call from one of my science France's in more read about him. And a guidance from the school called also Colin me he was word about my voice. And then the mother of another one of my son's friend called and my son is here crying so wary about years' time. So. You know. Person who was struggling. Was hiding it from his mom and dad but in the communities they were seen after getting educated and understanding what the look for. He stood together he was able who approaches on in you know people calling on and and they got him some professional support and help and there are doing much better at it. Those troops crucial that. People know you don't have to take on the burden yourself. And we're all in this together. I'm gonna shift gears a little also yeah sure mentioned mentioned the five cage and because. One thing is we are small nonprofit. And this five K event we depend on individual donations. And we have over 100 team captains who were going to be well over when he 500 people. Walking in and running in honor of someone they loved in that the fun day and it's a it's hard to describe and Tucker with suicides it's pundit but we have a family fun festival. For me when I. It was that the place that opened up the conversation for mean it's so inspiring when you get there and look around the 2000 people is celebrate. The life of them and they love that willing to laugh and share stories. And you know we hear that from survivors from PepsiCo two years before they actually laughed again. And the first feel guilty that. And I think in nominal one would want me to laugh it's okay to do that the vase the by participating in the event. That if the good safe place to be and that that together we economic difference. And it if you wanna find information on IQ a with simplified the website it's just American five K dot org. You can find them online fan per team register I'm an artist Tony Parker and when he third. And also another website to make note of is Americans hope all one word dot org. That's where you can sign up for an information session if you wanna learn more about volunteering. Or offend us an email or. You can also go to the website of whatever radio station you're tuning in on right now and all of that information is almost a right on the front page of of your favorite radio station and I know in a couple of minutes we may lose some of our WEEI affiliates by. Taking gold to all any website of whatever radio station listening to right on the front pages the link for the five K. The link for the samaritans and also with the toll free number that we've been giving out. Is adding it's really important that it's all the same phone number and you can either call or text the same number at 877. 8704673877. 870 hope. And one of the things I I I wanna keep circling back to because I I think that it's so important is how the conversation about suicide has changed. And talking about Blake. One of the one is beyond. The warning signs that you were talking about the it wasn't that long ago that people were in court blaming musicians for their music call the causing suicide. I grew up in lemon star. And when I was in school there was a cluster of kids from the high school that had committed suicide and that was the word they used back then. End big got to the point where they. Needed to blame they tried to find a cause and rather than looking at every. Individual. And trying to figure out the root cause of that person's suicide. There was even a discussion about changing the mascot of the high school because some how with the mascot of the high school for the sports teams was somehow. To blame for it. And just in the last thirty years. Just having the conversation. And opening up and looking at what it really is for the person that's having the thoughts for the family members and friends that are involved. And the education and training that's available to really see. What's really going on has completely changed. How we can come back this prop open. It's amazing that the the movement forward to ground that's been gained with the knowledge and just having a simple conversation about it without a stigma. That's right I mean if if someone. Al's shoes if feeling depressed. You know our coaching is to say that's OK. Tell me more about your feelings are your feelings. You know what you do going forward with those feelings that is all you can impact but you can't force should feelings away. And we're one of the places that you and Collins in a suicide on the curriculum I felt today and that's okay tell me more about it where's the compensation. Ago. We're not going to judge you are not going to tell you you know that the normal human reaction is but you social before but but but but but but. Because they're putting meaning of your life in their contest right they're not looking at it from the inside they're looking at it from the outside. Absolutely. True one is just you know we can all learn to accept each other for who we are. What ever Arafat's feelings desires meet the bureau okay. You know these listen listen closely and be more inclined to. Asked that question you know would you mind telling me more about that as opposed to thinking about what you're gonna say him and compact. That individual and you know to keep the conversation. I think it's really important when you talk about the pierce. That really pairing up. People that would really understand. For a combat veteran it would be very difficult for someone that's not a combat veteran two X need to understand their experience. For first responder. To be very difficult for those of us. On the outside of of those professions to really understand the pressures of their jobs. I can't imagine what it would be like for a sixteen year old girl to be in high school now a days. Or a college students that just moved here from another country or another state that's away from their Stanley for the first time. It's very difficult to put yourself in the context of the person that's calling. Your help line. But the samaritans and has the ability to really put someone there that not only says Tommy more about it. But that could offer their own experience and say you know what that's exactly how I felt tip. And I think that's really important. It's actually. We won't completely. Fade you know you know like I missed what you do is it happened. And what you know what our volunteers to do and what they kind of learned in training is that even if they even flake mister scary even if you're. In your like I actually don't completely understand that situation and I understand. So we talk about is. Pull out of the situation what they feel. What is that emotion because more often than not all of us. Internalize things that all of this experience and though I might have confidence in acting as I still have felt differently. So we kind of pull out of that Poland too well what was emotions was like what how did this experience. I'm fault for the experts and what was the emotion that's present there because I might not be able to relate situation. But I might be able to relate and sign it might be able to sadness. That immense pressure. Whatever else might be and that's what I can pull for them to make back next. So that's kind of its so on our Christmas please I'm. That's what we try to be trying kind of connect that emotion at that at that empathetic. Statement now and and shown that we care by connecting the commotion around it even though situationally. It might not. And you really interesting too that you know we pride ourselves on being so connected nowadays yeah that's social media you can count your friends and there's constant updates of how everyone's doing and and and we think it where more connected than ever. But more and more as these technologies in these in these services go one we realize that we're becoming more and more disconnected somehow. When were more connected with more our social circles are bigger than they've ever banned yet so many people feel so isolated. And there are also. There's so many studies that you you look at someone's life. Online. Or they've looked so happy. A little they look so there are styling and all of their Lester Graham photos and and they were always talking about how great everything was. But the the empathy is is lacking in some of these technologies that that you. Realizing you're disconnected from that humanity in your disconnected from that empathy and to be able to call a line. And should be. Connected with the person that has taken the time to really learn. What training is necessary to how this conversation and to be able to connect on an emotional level. That really is gonna make the difference with the person that five minutes ago. Felt like they were alone in a world surrounded by digital friends. And you know I am wasting it in me even if you aren't a volunteer on line. Human beings are capable empathy. We're capable of it's supporting someone so and all we have to do scanner picked up stepped back and not trying to penance you know. Have our own thoughts cloud how this person is reacting insane killer I would react like past the wire today but rather trying to understand. What has been going on what is it that you're feeling and if hepatitis there experience that is their feelings. And so how do you work. Well if you've been listening. All morning long. The hash tag on social media has been I'm listening. My name is mr. Kerry we're here with. Members of the staff at the samaritans Ron white gate chief program officer and we Brit the manager of grief support. Via monetize the manager of training and quality improvement and Steve Monterrey the executive director. Before we run out of time because it's an impossible task. To take everything that the samaritans does and to tackle an issue like suicides and and condense it all into an hour. So I wanna give you all a chance before we go to. You know any final thoughts any message that you really wanted to make sure that we got out before. Our hour is up in the of course you can always call the line 24 hours a day seven days a week 877870. Hole. I think. One of the most important things to the most important things we can teach young people when we're in schools is the importance of not keeping a secret. And knowing who your trusted adults are. All too often they feel obliged to. Not to tell another person what they've just heard and you can't deal with something like this on your own we don't deal with ago. Volunteers hand senior volunteers and staff that they can turn to. Any professional in the field would network with colleagues around how to help suicidal patient or client. The other. Important thing for those young people is. Is that a is that your coach your clergy person your your best friend's mum who is that the you can turn to and talked to if you need help. And not just one trusted adult who were all of your trusted adults if you don't get the help you need from one you gonna go to the next one. And to be persistent yes. In mr. scare I just have to you know thank you for the opportunity getting word out WAF the whole intercom a group with its really phenomenal and with today being national suicide prevention day also. As have to give things to them and beat the Indian mascot for the advertising they're doing putter I'm member out there that the sole advertiser of the text service. And now those of you in Greater Boston may notice the causes they can bridge the burned bridge in Worcester tonight. I'm government panel will be all lit up and American screen as well as the credential power Boston properties and supporting that so a lot of effort in the community is this that we're all in this together trying to help one another. And now again encourage listeners. Go to our web site to go to samaritans five K dot org get involved with that if you can't depend and a couple weeks you can still contribute to one of the teams is over hundred stories that's about it. Lots of I was sharing about who you're walking and running in on wrote and Els hear more about the personal side of the story. Ladies and wanna make sure that I give you guys a chance before we run out of time today. What I would want to say is that I'm not sure how come between half and that's when you know you don't have to be suicidal each month. But at least with with chris' services you don't have to be suicidal and that there'll be someone there who still talk to you about what every might be going through. And you could just have a question yeah you could just have a question in my speech is where somebody else it just might be questioned for yourself but you're not that I. The brink of suicide and that's completely pain that's when there for. So I would think I would want to emphasize that as well that that we're there for you. In any state. Yeah you may not know where to go. But you can call the samaritans and you will know. Where to send the person or resource is that you will be able to steer them in the right direction if they if they were looking for they want those resources. We look for them. Or if they just need someone to talk to. And it's there for those out there who aren't lost their fires that were available it doesn't matter if you lost speed. 25 years. It's a parent. And has written a best friend so where are here and mean. Suicide impacts people. And these emotions that those who have been very nice feeling are so complex. Were available so who dropped and commuting costs through here. And I think it did the message to leave with as well is you're not alone now. That that someone is there and that's why people have been saying over and over I'm listening. And also to thank all of your amazing volunteers before we go is to really thank all of the people that are involved with an amazing organization like the samaritans because they're. The ones that are really making it work every day. We encourage you go to the your favorite radio station goats used main page of their web site all of the links are there. Thank you all so much for coming in and sharing your stories. Thank you thank. I'm listening. A special nationwide audio event com world suicide prevention day has been a presentation of Entercom communications. In this stigma of mental illness and learn more about suicide prevention at samaritans hope don't work. That's samaritans Pope John Ward. Call or text for assistance support and guidance anytime and at 1877870. Hole. That's 1877870. Hope.
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