Massachusetts preventing suicide with text messages

In this Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015 photo, a Samaritans sign is posted near the Bourne Bridge, in Bourne, Mass. For decades the Samaritans have offered phone counseling to the desperate and distraught. But increasingly the group is turning to text messaging to engage with young people. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

BOSTON (NEWS10) – With younger generations using cell phones less for actual conversation and more for text messaging, suicide prevention organizations are setting up ways that teens seek help without talking.

The Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Organization called “Samaritans” is now accepting text messages. Its executive director says the new option started this month and is specifically aimed at young people who may feel more comfortable communicating that way.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teens and college age young adults. Samaritans is the first Massachusetts Suicide Prevention Organization to offer a text messaging option. They are following other groups from around the country who do this.

The texting option is now available between 3 p.m. and 11 p.m.

The goal is to eventually make the service 24/7.

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