The world is quite chaotic at the moment and everyone is going through a difficult time due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. It is no surprise to learn that more and more people are experiencing excessive stress, anxiety, and depression due to the danger of COVID-19. Maybe you’re worried about the health and safety of yourself and your loved ones. Maybe you’re going through a layoff or have had to terminate employees due to the economic uncertainty. Or maybe it’s just the fact that we’ve been isolated for the last six weeks and we aren’t really sure when this period of social distancing will end. Whatever the reason for your negative feelings, Samaritans of Fall River and New Bedford is here to help.

Darcy Lee is the Executive Director at Samaritans of Fall River and New Bedford. She spoke with us about what the organization is doing to support individuals who are impacted by the virus. “Anyone of any age can call Samaritans for emotional support,” said Lee. “It is important during this stressful and scary time that people feel that they can be heard. Our volunteers will listen without judgment and provide a caring ear for anyone in need. You don’t have to be in crisis or be considering suicide to call. We are here to listen to help you destress, become less anxious, and navigate your emotions. We’re here to help you address everyday stress.” Local toll-free number (866) 508-HELP (4357).

Some of you may be feeling grateful for the current situation you are in and wish to give back to others who have fallen on hard times because of the virus. If you can find it in your heart to reach out to these individuals, Samaritans of Fall River and New Bedford is currently seeking caring and compassionate volunteers to staff the hotline. “You can volunteer your time to help others in your community while still following social distancing guidelines,” says Lee.

There is a training coming up mid-May. Volunteers will be trained to be caring, compassionate, and confidential listeners. There is a requirement of 35 hours of training. You will need access to technological devices in order to accommodate Zoom. For more information, please contact the volunteer coordinator, Christine Rizza via email at samaritanscoordinator@gmail.com. Rizza can also be reached by phone at (508) 679-9777 extension 11.

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