A MESSAGE FROM TEAM CAPTAIN LOREN:
Seven years ago I lost my mom to suicide. Mourning her untimely death alongside my young siblings was nearly impossible. The added burden of stigma made it even more difficult.
While suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, it remains taboo. To protect my brother and sister, her cause of death was kept a secret. I told my closest friends and family but it was difficult to talk to them.
That’s why I am forever grateful for Samaritans. When I found Samaritans Safe Place, I felt like I finally found just that- a safe place free of judgement to unload my grief and tell my story to others who could actually relate. It gave me hope too. There were parents who had lost a child last week but there was also a woman who had lost a brother decades ago. To see that she was still standing and moving forward gave me strength. I haven’t attended a meeting recently, but knowing that Safe Place is there if I need it, gives me great peace.
Join me in supporting Samaritans at their annual walk to prevent suicide. I walk for my mother. To honor her memory and show New Yorkers how critical suicide prevention is for our city. In addition to their survivor meetings, Samaritans runs a volunteer-based 24 hour crisis hotline, trains public servants like police officers and guidance counselors, and advocates on a state and federal level for broader mental health supports. Let’s walk to maintain and grow these critical services.