Please Help Support Samaritans in Honor of My Brother Michael
Thank you for visiting my fundraising page for Samaritans's 21st annual run/walk for suicide prevention, which I am doing on September 28th in honor of my Brother, Michael Cohen. Michael died by suicide in February at age 28. The idea that he was just suddenly not around one day, and will never be around for any milestone in my life or that of my family's going forward, will never make any sense to me. He was supposed to be with us through it all and he was gone far too soon.
Michael had been battling depression, and the mental illness stigma led him to conceal the dark, not to mention distorted, thoughts and feelings that the depression gave him. With seemingly nowhere to unload them, they eventually drove him to make the decision that he did.
Samaritans works not only to battle the stigma, but to provide education on suicide & mental illness to the public, and to support individuals battling mental illness.
I can personally attest to how helpful their services have been. I am currently coping with five different mental illnesses, and I have used their helpline often throughout the past few months to vent when I have needed to. This is a 24/7 phone number that individuals can call or text to talk with someone whenever they are in psychological distress. Online chatting is also available through Samaritans's website.
These communications are completely anonymous. One does not need to reveal their name or any info they do not want to. The helpline also makes it less likely that they will face the feelings of shame that opening up to a family member or friend can potentially bring. The operators are simply there to listen, empathize, and validate any thoughts and/or feelings that an individual describes, as what is caused by mental illness is never the person's fault.
This hotline can also be used by those who feel that they need assistance in helping a loved one cope with mental illness.
Samaritans also offers a wide network of support systems dedicated to helping the loved ones of people who have lost their battle with mental illness. Grief support groups are available every single week throughout the Greater Boston Area. These meetings are safe places where those who have lost loved ones to suicide are able share their own experiences and vent to others going through the exact same situation. The list of services they offer goes on, and I encourage you to check out their website and learn more about them.
I am convinced that if my Brother had sought out help from Samaritans, he would still be here. Please use this page to send a donation in his honor to Samaritans so that they can continue to do the critical work that they do.
You will be saving lives.
Thank you all.
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