Samaritans exec Roberta Hurtig of Oak Bluffs celebrates organization milestone


Oak Bluffs resident Roberta Hurtig, executive director of Samaritans, helped celebrate a milestone in the organization’s history, its 40th anniversary.

More than 500 people attended the Samaritans’ “Breakfast for Hope” benefit in Boston, helping to raise more than $150,000. Attendees included daughter of founder Monica Dickens and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, according to a press release.

“So many lives have been saved and individuals comforted during our 40 years of service, and it is a real celebration that these free services are still being offered because of the generous communities we serve,” Ms. Hurtig said.

Since 1974, more than 2.5 million phone calls have been answered by Samaritans. As the culture has changed, shifting to a mobile and online generation, so have Samaritans’ services. Each year, more than 400 volunteers answer more than 120,000 calls, 10,000 texts and 1,000 online chats through Samaritans crisis services; providing more than 300 workshops and trainings on suicide prevention to more than 10,000 people each year; and comforting more than 1,000 people impacted by a loss to suicide through support groups, community meetings and one on one visits.

For more information regarding Samaritans services, to volunteer or to donate, visit For any reason at any time, Samaritans can be reached at 1-877-870-HOPE.