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History

In 1984, thanks to the work of a few dedicated partners involved in a round table on suicide prevention, Suicide Action Montréal (SAM) began its operations.

From its inception, SAM has focused specifically on telephone crisis intervention services for people contemplating suicide. Over the past 24 years, SAM has trained more than 2,500 volunteers, some of whom have been with us for years, if not decades. During the same period, the number of full-time employees at SAM grew from 3 to 30.

Since our early days of operations, SAM has received a total of over 455,000 calls: some 416,500 from suicidal callers, approximately 30,000 from people concerned that someone they knew was suicidal, and about 8,500 from people mourning someone who has committed suicide.

SAM has received a number of distinguished honours for its work. In 2002, SAM was chosen by the Association des Centres Jeunesse du Québec as a finalist for its consultative intervention project on suicides among youth experiencing serious social and affective difficulties. In 2003, SAM won a PROSHSE award of excellence from the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux in its community impact category for its research project on the provision of support to suicidal men and their entourage. In 2004, SAM received the Crisis Center Excellence Award in the category of Outstanding Work in the Field of Suicide Prevention from the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) for expertise shown in suicide prevention in its mentoring service to high-risk suicidal men. In 2005, Ordre des psychologues du Québec recognized SAM's excellent services, conferring it with an award for health and psychological wellbeing.

Time, experience and research on suicide have honed the expertise of SAM's employees and volunteers to a level that has been recognized by a number of other intervention services with the same kind of clientele. Through the dedicated commitment of our impressive team, our organization has grown from strength to strength.

SAM celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2009 and is dedicated to continuing its mission to help people in distress.