Monmouth's Ask The Doctor March-April 2020

CONTACT of Mercer: Crisis Hotline By Pam Teel

CONTACT of Mercer’s mission is to provide emotional support to people in crisis or distress in an effort to increase their wellbeing and their desire to live. Everybody needs someone to talk to when he or she is facing problems or feeling down and out. Crisis hotline is a phone and online service with highly trained volunteers there to listen to you without judgment. They are there to offer support and help you feel better about yourself or about a certain situation. CONTACT of Mercer is a nonprofit program that has been around since 1976. There are different crisis hotlines available such as the Telephone REASSURANCE Program for people over sixty years of age who live alone. Volunteers call on a daily basis to check in with said person for a phone visit and a safety check. This service is offered to those who live in Mercer County. If you know someone whose living alone and would love to have someone to talk too, please call (609-737-2000). The National Suicide Prevention Hotline (800-273-8255) (suicide- is available day and night. Volunteers have

extensive training plus a supervised apprenticeship. They operate out of a phone room in Pennington, at Princeton University, and at the College of New Jersey in Ewing Township. Trained volunteers listen to people and access the situation. People might call because they were thinking about suicide or because they know someone who might be. You can bet that if they called the hotline, they are reaching out for help. If it seems too extreme, volunteers will intervene and call 911, otherwise volunteers help them find ways for them to stay safe. Many times just talking to someone can help diffuse a complex situation such as thinking of taking your own life. According to 2017 statistics, over 47,000 people in the U.S. took their own lives. How many of them could have been saved if they just had someone to talk things through with? CONTACT offers additional hotlines for talking about general things. All calls are confidential. You can call: 609-896-2120 or 609- 585-2244. CrisisChat ( is a crisis intervention program where people can talk about their problems and their stress. The chat line is available 24/7. People can chat over their phones or via computer. There you can find nonjudgmental support. You don’t have to deal with your emotions alone. Volunteers receive forty hours of initial training with additional training on top of that. CONTACT Volunteers are there to help you explore your feelings and offer you comfort, referrals, crisis intervention and suicide prevention support. Their main focus is on your personal safety. If you need a safe place to talk, or chat about what’s troubling you, you can feel secure to know that the services you receive are anonymous, confidential, and free. Person to person; their main focus is to help you. If you might be considering becoming a volunteer there is Community training available in Pennington, NJ at the United Methodist Church. The program runs from February 11th to March 24th. There is no obligation to volunteer after the program ends. If you can’t make this session, there will be future sessions you can attend. You can take the course to learn more about Mental Health, First Aid, and learn about active listening. (There is a registration fee of $35.00, which includes a mental health book). If you want to stay on and become a volunteer, you would still need to take a few more classes that are offered. (CONTACT training at: 609 737-2000) The act of listening is a valuable skill. What a wonderful feeling to be able to help someone feel better about themselves or to be able intervene in a suicidal situation. 60 South Main Street, Pennington, NJ • 609-737-2000 • Executive Director: Eleanor K. Letcher M.Ed., CSW




Made with FlippingBook Ebook Creator