Our Mission Statement
We are devoted to preventing suicide and other self-destructive behaviors by providing people in emotional distress an opportunity to express themselves to a listening ear. Our services are free, anonymous and confidential. We offer emotional support through active, empathetic, nonjudgmental listening via telephone, text and e-mail. We soothe souls and save lives.
We envision a society where everyone in emotional distress has someone to talk to.
-- We believe that interaction with another human being can alleviate psychological pain and suffering.
-- We believe that relief of psychological pain and suffering can prevent tragic human loss by suicide.
-- We believe connection with another human being can be achieved cost-effectively through the use of highly trained volunteers as opposed to costly health care system interventions.
CONTACT We Care’s roots date back to the early 1960s in Sydney, Australia. A Methodist pastor named Alan Walker received a message from the local police. A destitute old man had been found dead in his apartment in one of the poorer sections of the city; he had left a note addressed to Rev. Walker. The man had been a devoted listener to Reverend Walker’s Sunday evening radio program. The radio had been his only possession of any value and he killed himself when it was repossessed. His note said, “Nobody cares.”
That phrase struck a sad chord with Rev. Walker. There should always be a place someone like this man could turn to for solace. And with that was born the idea of an anonymous, confidential telephone service, where anyone could call who needed someone to speak with about their problems, their fears, their hopes for a better life. The new service, named Lifeline, was promoted with great fanfare in Sydney: “Help is as close as the telephone.” It was a huge success.
Dr. Walker traveled the world to talk about the importance of extending help to those in need of a patient listener through the medium of the telephone. In the U.S., Lifeline was renamed CONTACT. CONTACT We Care was founded in Westfield, NJ in 1975. The name of our local chapter is an answer to the Australian suicide’s statement: We Care. At one time there were more than 150 chapters around the U.S. Today, only 52 remain.
Our mission is to offer nonjudgmental listening to all callers, regardless of age, race, religion or gender.
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