About Us

Our History

For 50 years, Samaritans has provided lifesaving suicide prevention services in Massachusetts. Founded in Boston by Monica Dickens in 1974, Samaritans follows the principles of befriending established by Samaritans in the United Kingdom. While Samaritans offices all over the world share a common suicide prevention mission and philosophy, we operate independently from one another.

In the last 50 years, our volunteers have answered more than 3 million calls, chats, and texts from people who are struggling. Samaritans has trained more than 6,500 volunteers, provided suicide prevention workshops to 180,000 people, and supported 17,000 suicide loss survivors in their grief journeys.

Our Services

Samaritans provides lifesaving suicide prevention services throughout Massachusetts. Our services are free, confidential, and nonjudgmental.


24/7 Helpline

You can call or text us anytime you feel isolated, desperate, suicidal, or concerned about someone else in your life.


Hey Sam

Hey Sam is a peer-to-peer texting service for people up to 24 years old.


Grief Support Services

If you have lost a loved one to suicide, you can find support through events, meetings, and peer networks.


Community Education

Learn how to help someone in crisis by hosting a suicide prevention workshop at your school, workplace, or organization.


We envision a world without suicide.


Our mission is to prevent suicide and offer hope and support to those affected.


  • Integrity – We act ethically with a relentless commitment to our mission and values, to each other, to the community, and to excellence in service.
  • Befriending – We empathetically and actively listen without judgment –our unique way of befriending those who use our services creates an environment where all emotions and experiences can be shared and validated.  
  • Equity, Justice and Inclusion – We value the full diverse community which our organization serves. As such we endeavor to make our organization reflective and representative, striving to enable access to our services regardless of identity, beliefs, or circumstances. We aspire to embrace change and to encourage growth.
  • Belonging – We endeavor to create a warm, caring community in which everyone feels welcomed, valued, accepted, and supported.  We aspire to embrace change, to respectfully celebrate differences, and to encourage growth as we work together towards a common purpose.
  • Courage – We honor the courage it takes to seek help.  We pledge to talk openly about mental health, including the issues of equity and access and the impact on both individuals and the community.
  • Hope – We offer a way for people to find hope, through our unwavering presence, education and support services, to those in need or those supporting others in need.

Two people stand next to a Samaritans sign.

Celebrating 50 Years

On April 4, 1974, the first American branch of Samaritans was founded with just 22 volunteers, rotary phones, and an open door. From our humble beginnings, we have grown and flourished, helping millions of people find hope in human connection. 

Do you have a media inquiry?

For press requests and media inquiries, please contact [email protected].

Learn More About Samaritans

Our work is not possible without our amazing staff, Board of Directors, Council, volunteers, financial supporters, and partners who advocate for suicide prevention in our communities. Explore the pages below to learn more about our lifesaving suicide prevention work and the people who are involved in making it happen.

“Thank you for your support – not only us, but to the millions of people struggling with depression and to the families in grief. We are grateful for people like you every day.”

Deana and Adam

Suicide Loss Survivors