BOSTON (WWLP) – According to Samaritans, 80 youths die from suicide every year in Massachusetts.

On Tuesday, Samaritans held a briefing to educate State House staff and lawmakers on the resources they have to offer and the message at the briefing, “you are not alone.”

Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States, and minorities and members of the LGBTQ+ communities are at greater risk. The Samaritans’ mission is to prevent suicide and support those who have been affected.

They offer a 24/7 helpline for those in need. They stressed at the briefing that you do not need to be suicidal to call for help. They are happy to answer any question you have or help connect you with proper services.

Call the 988 suicide and crisis lifeline for immediate access to mental health resources.

Their newest service is a peer-to-peer texting service for individuals 24 years and younger called Hey Sam. It was launched in March of last year and has a 100% deescalation rate.

“I think what we’re seeing most now is the increase in young people needing support, that’s the long term effect we knew would follow the pandemic, or the end, if there is, of the pandemic. So that’s really where we’re seeing an increase and we’re so grateful that we have Hey Sam as a service to meet young people where they are.”

In Governor Healey’s budget, she proposed $400,000 for Samaritans. However, the group is advocating for $1.4 million which would be in line with last year’s funding.

The extra funding would allow Samaritans to expand the hours in which Hey Sam operates, which is currently 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

You can reach Hey Sam by texting Hey Sam to 439-726 and for more information on what Samaritans has to offer visit