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Milford Man Running Boston for the Samaritans


Milford resident Brian Andersen is turning the heartache of his mother Nancy's suicide and channeling it into 26.2 miles of running and thousands of dollars raised for a group that aims to help those battling the depression that cut his mom's life short.
"Last year, I was presented the opportunity to run the Boston Marathon for the Alzheimer's Association, which is a cause I am very passionate about," Andersen said, noting he raised close to $11,000. "After the race, my brother Eric reached out and congratulated me and suggested I look to raise money in a future race for suicide prevention."
Andersen said he first found the Samaritans through a simple Google search. Once he learned more, he decided to run this year's Boston Marathon for the organization, and in honor of Nancy.
"I just see depression and suicide all over the place, he said, "whether it's people posting things on social media or the stories you hear on the news." 
Andersen said he wants to raise $10,000 for the Samaritans, who provide 24/7 crisis counseling and other suicide prevention services across the state. He said he has been impressed by the depth of what is offered by the group for those who desperately need help.
"They have a call center and they offer the chance to reach out via phone or even via text," he said. "It's amazing, they recognize their younger demographic was not picking up the phone, so they started a text line." The process involves hundreds of volunteers, and funding is essential to keep the programs running. The Samaritans are part of a nationwide suicide prevention hotline. Anyone who calls with a Massachusetts number is routed to someone local.
"They also do a lot to reach out to the community, meeting with schools, meeting with businesses," Andersen said. "They are promoting the idea that mental health is not something to laugh at or turn away from and they show you what to recognize if someone is dealing with depression or anxiety or thoughts of suicide."
Andersen has set up a fundraising page on crowdrise.com, and his family and friends plan to be at the finish line and along the route on Marathon Monday. He knows the thoughts of his mother will fill his mind and his heart next month as he runs those final few steps down Boylston St. "I think I am going to be slightly overcome with emotion, but fulfilled knowing I had a chance to do something positive," he said. "Nothing is going to change the past, but to not have other people go through what we as a family had to deal with, that is the ultimate goal."




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