Taking suicide fight on the Web

These days, teens turn to social media, texting and Internet sites to communicate. They announce their sexual orientation on YouTube, express their anxieties through Facebook posts and strike up friendships through texts.

In response to the technological shift in teen communication, the Samaritans, a suicide prevention organization that has focused their operations on a phone hot line for more than 30 years, is also making a major shift.

The Greater Boston chapter is expanding their reach to teens through an online chat program. They recently piloted a program at Framingham High School where 100 trained students are available online to chat with fellow students in need. The program is called IM Hear and is anonymous and confidential.

“We do get calls on our help lines from parents worried about their kids and yet we aren’t getting phone calls in sufficient volume from young people,” said Roberta Hurtig, executive director of Samaritans, Inc. “Online is where young people turn.”

Hurtig said they are hoping to expand the program to additional schools within a few months.

By the numbers

   
The 2009 Health and Risk Behaviors of Massachusetts Youth, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health:

14 percent of high school students reported they seriously considered suicide.
7 percent of high school students reported one or more suicide attempts in the past year.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Nas, The Roots, Lorde to play fall Boston…

Lorde, Nas, The Roots and Childish Gambino are among the 22 acts that make up the fall festival's lineup, which Boston Calling will announce Wednesday.

National

Train selfie star who got kicked in the…

  A 22-year-old Canadian man who posted a video of himself getting kicked in the head by a train conductor is set to cash in…

National

Call of Duty hoaxer blamed for $100K SWAT…

A heavilly-armed SWAT team and an army of police officers stormed a Long Island home fearing a grisly double homicide – only to find it…

National

Minnie Driver tweets naked celebrity snap to 'shut…

Actress Minnie Driver has responded to bitchy critics who sniped about her bikini body by Tweeting a naked picture of herself. The 44-year-old star of…

Television

John Turturro tags in for Robert De Niro…

The cast of the courtroom drama miniseries has undergone yet another shift. Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro…

Arts

"The Shape She Makes", an "extraordinary treat" at…

“The Shape She Makes” is a fascinating melding of theater and dance in a narrative that exposes human vulnerability in its purest form. Initially, the…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 22: 'Glee,' 'Agents…

'Glee' Rachel makes her Broadway debut in "Funny Girl." Remember when she was just a high school drama nerd? FOX, 8PM 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'…

The Word

Lindsay Lohan's big, drunk interview

Lindsay Lohan appears to be completely off the wagon now, if Kode magazine's chronicle of her trip to Coachella is any indication. According to the…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Yankees rout Red Sox, 9-3

Jon Lester allows eight runs in 4 2/3 innings taking loss

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

Sports

American runners stand tallest in 2014 Boston Marathon

American runners stand tallest in 2014 Boston Marathon

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins…

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins men's race

Wellbeing

How to burn off all that Easter candy

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but you can't eat chocolate eggs and Jelly Bellys forever.

Food

Powdered alcohol: 5 things to know about 'Palcohol'

What's the deal with powdered alcohol? Here's what you need to know about Palcohol.

Travel

Travel hacks: 6 tips on living out of…

Lynne Martin shares her travel hacks on living out of just two suitcases.

Wellbeing

Tough Mudder pro gives tips on conquering a…

Learn hacks from head designer Nolan Kombol.