Health & Wellness

Crisis Listening Line to Offer Suicide Prevention Training and Volunteering Opportunities

a31c561ffa097d1dcbbe_Suicide_is_preventable.jpg
a31c561ffa097d1dcbbe_Suicide_is_preventable.jpg

WESTFIELD, NJ -- Are you a good listener? Do you want to make a difference in the life of someone in crisis?

Crisis listening line Caring Contact will offer Excellence in Listening training beginning March 20 at the First Baptist Church at 170 Elm Street in Westfield. Classes run for three hours one night a week, plus one full weekend, ending June 12.This award-winning training enables graduates to become volunteer listeners on the hotline, helping people in crisis and perhaps saving a life.

Caring Contact is an award-winning, volunteer-staffed caring and crisis hotline and listening community, providing active listening support and best-in-class training to the Central and Northern New Jersey community. More than 100 trained volunteer listeners answered nearly 9,000 calls last year from people in crisis, having suicidal thoughts or simply feeling depressed and lonely.

Sign Up for E-News

Through the training, volunteers receive 52 hours of comprehensive training in active listening. In addition volunteers become certified in Mental Health First Aid and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. Volunteers develop the ability to listen actively, assess the needs of someone in crisis and provide empathy and support.

The cost is $299 and includes materials and certification fees.

The training also is excellent for individuals who do not want to become volunteer listeners. This training is valuable for educators and parents, first responders, social workers, counselors, clergy, business managers and community group leaders.

The suicide rate in the U.S. has been increasing every year since 1999, rising more than 24 percent between 1999 and 2014. Every 13.7 minutes someone in the America dies by suicide, and more than 42,000 people died by suicide in 2013 -- including 4,600 young people. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth aged 10-24 and four out of five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs.

Research has shown that suicide prevention training results in a stable and significant increase in a trainee's readiness to intervene with a person at risk. 

"Caring Contact offers a flexible, rewarding volunteer opportunity," said Janet Sarkos, the hotline's interim executive director. "People who have been told they are a good listener and have a yearning to volunteer should consider becoming a Caring Contact listener."

Following training, new volunteer listeners are supported by seasoned listeners during 24 hours of internship before they take calls on their own. Even once a volunteer is a certified listener, the hotline provides a range of support and training opportunities to allow them to keep honing their skills.

Colleen Mannix has been volunteering at Caring Contact for about two years. She came to the hotline with a master's degree in counseling and was impressed with the professionalism of the training and how prepared it makes volunteers to take calls.

"I thought it was really comprehensive," Mannix said. "They prepare you for every scenario. It provides an understanding of mental health that is really important for volunteers who don't have a background in counseling."

Eileen Burlinson has been a part of the Caring Contact listening community for many years.

“This experience of being a listener has changed me in so many ways," she said. "Accepting people as they are at the moment, not needing to change them. I think learning to listen the way we learn at Caring Contact is a gift. We sit back and try to really hear what the person is saying. It doesn’t matter what you are going to say, the caller just wants to be heard. Once this becomes a part of your life, you tend to use the skills in all aspects of your life."

Anyone interested in volunteering should visit http://caringcontact.org/give-support/volunteer/. There are non-listening volunteering opportunities, as well.

Caring Contact serves Central and Northern New Jersey and is a primary responder to calls to the national suicide prevention line (1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE) that originate in New Jersey. Callers also reach Caring Contact by dialing 908-232-2880. Those preferring to seek supporting through texting may text “heart” to 741-741. The hotline also provides best-in-class training to the Central and Northern New Jersey Community.

If you are in crisis and need someone to listen, call us at 908-232-2880.To learn more, visit www.caringcontact.org.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

North Plainfield/Green Brook/Watchung

Thousands Expected for Sourland Music Festival

June 20, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – The Sourland Music Festival will be held Saturday, June 23 from 3-10 p.m. at the Hillsborough Golf & Country Club at 146 Wertsville Road, rain or shine, to benefit the Sourland Conservancy.

Discounted advance-sale tickets are available online only, Children under 12 are admitted free.

“We’ve got a really powerful lineup of the region’s most ...

Third-annual Juneteenth Parade and Heritage Festival in New Brunswick this Weekend

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - The Vulcan Pioneers of New Brunswick, comprising the city's Black Fire Fighters Association, will host the Juneteenth Parade on Saturday, June 16 to commemorate the Emancipation Proclamation.

Juneteenth celebrations are held across the country to mark the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas in June 1865. That state was one of the last locations to learn of ...

Manutti Marina in Belmar: Top Choice for Boating, Fishing and All-Around Family Fun

BELMAR, NJ — It’s no secret that Belmar Manutti Marina ranks among the best boating destinations along the Atlantic coast.

Tucked along the eastern shoreline of the idyllic Shark River — just a five-minute trip by boat to the ocean — the state-of-the-art marina is a top choice among boaters looking to stay for the season, enjoy a vacation or spend the weekend.

In ...

Manutti Marina in Belmar: Top Choice for Boating, Fishing and All-Around Family Fun

June 12, 2018

BELMAR, NJ — It’s no secret that Belmar Manutti Marina ranks among the best boating destinations along the Atlantic coast.

Tucked along the eastern shoreline of the idyllic Shark River — just a five-minute trip by boat to the ocean — the state-of-the-art marina is a top choice among boaters looking to stay for the season, enjoy a vacation or spend the weekend.

In ...

Summer Camp Programs for Children and Teens Announced By Environmental Education Center

June 18, 2018

BERNARDS TWP., NJ – Each summer, the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Basking Ridge holds programs that let children and teens explore nature for summer activities that both entertaining and an opportunity to learn about the environment.

The programs are organized and led by the EEC's staff of naturalists.

The EEC is a Somerset County facility located at 190 Lord ...

Obituaries

South Plainfield, NJ – Margaret (Pascazio) Butfiloski, 99, passed away peacefully on June 2, ...
Read more

Upcoming Events

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM

Terrill Road Baptist Chruch, Scotch Plains

Terrill Road Baptist Church

WHRHS Athletics: Watchung Hills Names New Athletic Director

June 19, 2018

WARREN, NJ - The Watchung Hills Board of Education announced a new Director of Athletics at its meeting on Tuesday night to replace Chris Van Vliet who has resigned. WHRHS world language teacher, Dan Root was unanimously approved as the WHRHS Director of Athletics effective July 1.

“I’m excited to work with newly appointed athletic director Mr. Root,” said WHRHS head football ...

A Path Forward for Watchung Schools Set for June 25

 

WATCHUNG, NJ - A Path Forward for Watchung Schools, a listening forum for Watchung parents, residents, and teachers to communicate to make Watchung Schools great, has been set for Monday, June 25. 

 

Watchung has three leadership positions open: Superintendent, Principal of Bayberry School, and Chief Administrator. The listening forum will be hosted and moderated by ...

WHRHS Athletics: 30 Watchung Hills Student Athletes Commit to Play College Sports

WARREN, NJ - Some 30 student athletes from the Watchung Hills Regional High School (WHRHS) Class of 2018 gathered  in the WHRHS Media Center for one last Warrior team photo before reporting to their intended respective colleges or universities in the fall.

Columbia, Yale and Princeton, Stevens, Rensselaer and M.I.T. are among some 27 other Division I, II, or III colleges ...

North Plainfield Board of Education Recognizes Student Athletes

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The North Plainfield Board of Education had the opportunity to celebrate the victories of the district's distinguished student athletes at the last Board of Education meeting.  Brandon Smith, Daniel Duncan, Trevor Sullivan, and Edgardo Villafane represented the Boys' Indoor Track Team.  The team was victorious as the New Jersey North II, Group II ...

Thousands Expected for Sourland Music Festival

June 20, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – The Sourland Music Festival will be held Saturday, June 23 from 3-10 p.m. at the Hillsborough Golf & Country Club at 146 Wertsville Road, rain or shine, to benefit the Sourland Conservancy.

Discounted advance-sale tickets are available online only, Children under 12 are admitted free.

“We’ve got a really powerful lineup of the region’s most ...

SCBP Biz Fest 2018 Draws Record Crowd

SOMERSET, NJ - More than 500 people attended Biz Fest 2018, Somerset County's ‘hyper-local’ trade show and networking event, on Thursday at the Imperia.

The Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP) organized the event.  SCBP Vice President of Business Services Chris Edwards said that this year's Biz Fest was a huge success. 

"This has been ...