Our Mission Statement
CONTACT We Care is devoted to providing people in emotional distress an opportunity to express themselves to a compassionate listener in a confidential environment. We also offer training to people and organizations in the listening skills needed to support those in crisis. We facilitate opportunities for people to help other people.
We envision a society where everyone has access to a caring and compassionate listener.
-- We believe in the power of active, empathetic, nonjudgmental listening.
-- We believe that interactive communication with another human being can alleviate emotional pain and suffering.
-- We believe that relief of emotional pain and suffering can prevent tragic human loss by suicide and other self-destructive behaviors.
-- We believe connection with another human being can be achieved most empathetically and cost effectively through the use of highly trained volunteers.
CONTACT We Care was established in Union County in 1975. Our roots stretch to a movement begun in Australia in the 1960s to provide anonymous, confidential telephone service where anyone in distress could call to speak with someone about their problems.
In 1993 CONTACT We Care established CareRing, an outreach program to homebound people to check on their welfare. In 2005 we were certified as a member of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network and began taking calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline that originate in New Jersey.
In 2007 we established a second listening hub in Middlesex County through an affiliation with the Scarlet Listeners at Rutgers University. In 2008 CONTACT added certified Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) to our core competencies, enabling us to provide direct ASIST training to enhance the skills of our volunteer listeners. More recently we became certified in Mental Health First Aid training, as well.
In 2012 CONTACT established a third listening hub in Essex County through an agreement with Caldwell College in Caldwell, New Jersey. That spring we launched our Save Our Youth campaign and established TextCWC, the first crisis texting program in New Jersey.
In 2013 we established a fourth listening hub, in Morris County through a new call center in Morristown, New Jersey. We created and introduced our Learning to Prevent Teenage Suicide program, a specialized curriculum for school teaching staff, and began targeted outreach to middle and high schools.
CONTACT We Care and our listeners have received numerous awards, including: New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Awards for Good Neighbor and for Emergency Services; the Union County Human Relations Commission Unity Award for Achievement by a Community Organization; Best Statewide Volunteer Organization by the New Jersey Governor’s Office of Volunteerism; and the GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Health Award.
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