CONTACT We Care is the award-winning, volunteer-staffed, caring and crisis hotline serving New Jersey. We are the primary responder within the State of New Jersey to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-SUICIDE.
CONTACT has been answering calls from lonely, depressed and desperate people seeking consolation since 1975. Ours is the only general listening service for all of north and central New Jersey, a service area with 4.5 million inhabitants in Union, Somerset, Middlesex, Essex, Morris, Passaic Bergen and Hudson counties. More than 100 trained volunteers staff our hotline, and answer approximately 30 calls a day, or more than 11,000 calls per year.
Many callers reach out to us when they suddenly confront a traumatic life crisis — the death of a loved one, divorce, or job loss. Many others may be dealing with long-term depression or other mental illness. They may be under a doctor’s care, but need a supplemental source of comfort, a safety valve for their mental anguish. A growing number of callers are suicidal.
For all of these callers, we are there first and foremost to listen to their stories actively and empathetically. We don’t give advice, but we can help with problem solving, guiding callers through conversation to make their own choices and decisions about how to carry on their lives. Usually, just the fact that we are there to listen is healing.
CONTACT volunteers attend 50 hours of training in active listening skills and how to handle the broad range of calls received on the hotline. We also offer advanced trainings in suicide intervention skills. Once trained, all volunteers are under the continuous supervision of a licensed clinical social worker.
CONTACT We Care’s entire budget comes from donations. We receive financial support from the Westfield United Fund, United Way of Greater Union County, and a growing list of individuals, foundations, corporations.
CONTACT We Care is affiliated with The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the American Association of Suicidology, and CONTACT USA, which accredits us.
Copyright © 2008-2011 CONTACT We Care, Inc. All rights reserved.
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