Keolis Commuter Services and Samaritans Expand Partnership to Provide Lifesaving Trainings to Commuter Rail Personnel

KCS to Launch Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Training Program

Boston – March 20, 2024, Keolis Commuter Services (Keolis) has announced an expanded partnership with Samaritans, provider of lifesaving suicide prevention services throughout Massachusetts, to facilitate mental health and suicide prevention training to Commuter Rail frontline personnel. Throughout the second quarter of 2024, Samaritans will develop the training program, including the facilitation of focus groups, stakeholder interviews, and training materials for frontline employees at Keolis. The launch of training is set to begin in the third quarter of 2024 and conclude within 2025.

“We are proud of our longstanding partnership with Samaritans, and we are excited to collaborate with them to provide our workforce with training and resources on suicide prevention,” said Abdellah Chajai, CEO and General Manager of Keolis Commuter Services. “Our frontline workers at Keolis interact with thousands of people every day and this training will give them the tools they need to help someone who may be in crisis. If through this training we can help save just one life, that will already be a success.”

"Our ultimate goal is to create a safer and more supportive environment for everyone," said Samaritans Chief Executive Officer & President Kathleen C. Marchi. "This partnership marks a significant step forward in providing essential mental health and suicide prevention training to Commuter Rail frontline personnel. By empowering these workers to take care of their own mental health and equipping them with the skills to recognize and respond to mental health crises, this project will undoubtedly save lives."

Through the mental health and suicide prevention training program, Samaritans will educate Keolis frontline employees on the topic of mental health, including identifying people at risk, developing strategies for engaging with a person in crisis, whether a colleague or a member of the public, and connecting someone in need with mental health resources.

"Mental health training is essential for creating supportive environments where individuals feel comfortable seeking help and support," said Kacy Maitland, Samaritans Chief Clinical Officer. "Through this program, Commuter Rail personnel will gain valuable insights into identifying signs of distress, communicating effectively with individuals in crisis, and connecting them with appropriate resources. These skills are not only critical for intervening in potential crises but also for fostering a culture of empathy and compassion.”

Samaritans will interview employees and key stakeholders to tailor the program to the specific needs of Keolis, developing a series of training modules that teach commuter rail personnel the skills to deescalate situations they may encounter in their work.

Keolis Commuter Services has been a partner with Samaritans since 2014, sponsoring the Samaritans Breakfast for Hope and 5K Run/Walk for Suicide Prevention to honor those we lost, support those who are struggling and raise money for suicide prevention. Through this partnership, Keolis has collaborated with Samaritans to host in-station resource tables that share lifesaving mental health information with Commuter Rail riders and continues to feature signage across our network that highlights and educates the riding public on the 988 number.

Samaritans and Keolis kickoffmeeting photo 3.20.2024

Keolis Commuter Services has operated and maintained the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s commuter rail system, the fifth largest commuter rail operation in North America, for the last ten years. KCS is a subsidiary of Keolis North America (KNA), both headquartered in Boston, and employs approximately 2,400 people throughout the region. KCS and KNA are part of Keolis Group, an innovative global leader in transit services with more than a century of passenger transportation experience and operations in 13 countries.

Samaritans, Inc. is a Massachusetts-based suicide prevention organization that offers free, 24/7 services. Each day, Samaritans supports hundreds of people through the 988 National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline and Hey Sam, a peer-to-peer mental health support textline for young people. Samaritans also offers support groups for those grieving a loss to suicide and educational programming so anyone can learn to help those in crisis. Since 1974, Samaritans has answered 3 million calls, texts, and chats; educated 180,000 people to recognize signs of suicide; supported 17,000 suicide loss survivors; and trained 6,500 volunteers to provide compassionate support. Visit for more