The Samaritan Counseling Center’s mission begins and ends with people and our community.


The best thing we can do for our future is to be more proactive in serving children and teens. With nearly 36% of teens in Lancaster County feeling depressed or sad most days over the past year and just one-fifth of all teens with mental illness identified and treated, we can no longer rely on the same type of services and programs to provide the level of care needed today. As our community changes, so must we.  TeenHope is designed to identify kids who fly under the radar and are not normally identified by behavioral measures.

The Facts

TeenHope is a mental health screening program in Lancaster County middle & high schools, which screens students for depression and suicide risk. While new for the county, this program is research-based and nationally tested. We are collaborating with other local organizations to connect at-risk teens and their parents with proper treatment and healing.

TeenHope was implemented in Penn Manor and Lancaster Mennonite schools during the 2013-2014 school year. Pequea Valley was added in the Fall of 2014.  Elizabethtown High School was added in the Fall of 2016.  Eastern Lebanon County High School, Ephrata High School and Donegal Middle School were added in the Spring of 2017.  TeenHope is in communication with two other schools, Conestoga Valley School District and Warwick School District, to be added to the Fall 2017 screening.  If these two schools move forward, TeenHope will be in nine schools by the Fall of 2017.  To date, Samaritan has screened 2843 students and referred 437 of these students for services.

The Need

(source: 2015 Pennsylvania Youth Survey)

  • Nearly 36% of teens in Lancaster County have felt depressed or sad most days over the past year
  • Based on a recent Columbia University study, just 20% of all teens with mental illness are being identified and treated

(source: 2015 study by Centers for Disease Control, Columbia University report)

  • Almost 30% of students felt sad and hopeless enough over a two week period to halt usual activity
  • 17.7% of high school students have had serious suicidal thoughts in the past year
  • 14.6% have made a suicide plan
  • 8.6% of high school students have attempted suicide at least once
  • Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for youths 15-34

Be a Voice

Encourage parents and teens to participate in the TeenHope screening process when offered at their school, and help get more schools to add this program.  One encouraging conversation can help give someone the courage to say “yes, let’s do this.”

Be aware of how one voice can make a difference in helping people find the help they need.

Give a Gift

The Samaritan Counseling Center is changing the culture in different environments throughout Lancaster County.  We are creating healthier minds, stronger communities and brighter tomorrows for many people and families.  With donor funding and Samaritan’s collaborations with schools and mental health providers, TeenHope can cost as low as $50 per student.

Your gift will have an impact – and your dollars will be matched by the Lancaster County Community Foundation.

Please consider a contribution to support TeenHope!  For more information, please contact Anita Hanna, Director of Development at 717-560-9969, extension 244.

Read an Inspiring Story

National Suicide Prevention Week begins September 5th. An organization very close to my heart, by the name of “To Write Love On Her Arms,” hosts a campaign each year to raise awareness and funds for those struggling with mental illnesses and suicidal thoughts. This year’s slogan is #IKeptLiving.

I struggle with mental illness. There, I said it. It’s not much of a secret anymore- because I’ve come to terms with the fact that anxiety and depression are not anything I need to hide, but it’s still hard.

I, the outgoing, sassy girl who sits next to you in your honors classes that are always cracking jokes, has struggled with anxiety and depression for as long as she can remember.

Click here to read more.




Teen Hope

We’re Calling All Samaritans!

What can you do? BE A VOICE by encouraging parents and teens to participate. GIVE A GIFT to help change the culture. Learn more by reading details on this page, or call us at 717-560-9969.