Health & Wellness

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Caring Contact Crisis Line to Offer Tuesday Morning Volunteer Listening and Suicide Prevention Training

Have you ever been told you are a good listener? Do you have a yearning to really make a difference?

Crisis listening line Caring Contact will be offering its 92nd volunteer listening training beginning Tuesday, March 13. Training will run once a week 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., plus one full weekend, June 2 and June 3, and will end June 12. Training will be held at Congregation Beth Israel at 18 Shalom Way in Scotch Plains

“So, at this age I thought I knew most everything I needed to know for the rest of my life," said Nancy Hermann of Scotch Plains, a volunteer listener and graduate of Class of '93. "I was wrong. The knowledge learned during the 12 weeks of training was a fantastic lesson in 'you never stop learning.' I thank you all for opening my eyes to a new experience and to meeting a wonderful, new community of friends and teachers. I loved every hour of the process of becoming an active listener.” 

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This award-winning training enables graduates to become volunteer listeners on the hotline, helping people in crisis and perhaps saving a life. Participants 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

"This daytime training and volunteering opportunity is ideal for retirees, empty-nesters and stay-at-home parents," said Janet Sarkos, Caring Contact's executive director. "Many of our listeners were looking for something meaningful to do after they retired or their children left home. They find that volunteering at Caring Contact not only gives them something to do with their new-found freedom but also gives them a sense of reward when they help someone in crisis."

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.

Anyone interested in registering for the training should visit http://caringcontact.org/volunteer-listener-application/.

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.

The listening line 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.

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