After the high profile deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, there has been quite a bit of talk concerning depression, mental health, and suicide. As you may know, there are several people, programs, and organizations which have always been focused on this crisis.

The Samaritans on Cape Cod and the Islands are one such organization reaching out to those segments of the Cape population, who are statistically more apt to have an attempt which results in death – the elderly, males between the ages of 40-59, and those who have already attempted once.

Our newest program, A Caring Connection, is designed to support attempt survivors released from mental health facilities and to support involuntary or voluntary ER admits for suicidal ideation discharged from the ER. Upon release, the patient is paired with one of our volunteers (Consistent with the Samaritan model, the volunteer’s real identity remains anonymous), who acts as a part coach, part mentor, part friend. We provide a bridge as the released patient develops a relationship with a therapist and accesses other community supports (70% of attempt survivors will not attend their first therapy appointment despite the risk of death by suicide goes up significantly following a first attempt). The commitment from the volunteer is anywhere from a week to a year depending on the need and want of the patient; and requires a weekly, sometimes twice weekly phone call initiated by the volunteer (Caller ID is blocked).

Our next training session is August 15, 2018, and anyone interested in being part of this program should call 508.548.7999 or email ProgramDirector@capesamaritans.com.