Running the Distance for Suicide Prevention
My name is Kirstie Crawford and I'm running my first marathon - the Boston Marathon - on Monday, April 16, 2012 in support of Samaritans' life-saving suicide prevention services.
I've been a Samaritans' helpline volunteer for one year so I know firsthand the difference we make for the vulnerable people who are feeling lonely, isolated, despairing and suicidal who call our helplines more than 150,000 times every year. Running the marathon will be the biggest physical and mental challenge of my life but it's worth it to know that Samaritans will be able to continue to provide its programs to people at their time of greatest need. Your support will help Samaritans recruit, train and retain more people to answer calls on its helplines, deliver suicide prevention workshops to thousands of people, and provide grief support services to over 1,000 people each year who have lost a loved one to suicide.
For those of you that don't know me I'm a Scot living in Boston. My volunteering and passion for the Samaritans' mission of reducing the incidence of suicide, educating the public about suicide prevention and reducing the stigma associated with suicide led me to start working for the organization in October, 2011.
My friends know that I have spent the last 20 years working on a voluntary basis to reduce the stigma of mental health illnesses especially in the media. More recently I've volunteered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness Massachusetts too.