Caring Contact, the Westfield-based crisis hotline and listening community, recently provided Suicide Intervention and Skills Awareness Training to social workers in Perth Amboy and college students at Drew University.

The hotline trained more than 30 social workers at the George J. Otlowski Sr.  Center for Mental Health Care in Perth Amboy and 16 students on the Drew University campus in Madison.

The two-hour training is part of a comprehensive training program Caring Contact offers to community groups throughout Central and Northern New Jersey. In addition to social workers and college students, the training is appropriate for mental health professionals, educators, community groups, members of the clergy and their congregations, human resource professionals and other business leaders and parent organizations, according to Janet Sarkos, executive director of Caring Contact.

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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 Central and Northern New Jersey. More than 100 trained volunteer listeners answer nearly 9,000 calls each year from people in crisis, having suicidal thoughts or simply feeling depressed, lonely or stressed.

"At Caring Contact we offer an array of training, from this two-hour course in suicide prevention and awareness to more in-depth training, such as Excellence in Listening, Mental Health First Aid and Teenage Suicide Prevention, to a three-month program that encompasses all our training for our volunteer listeners," Sarkos said. "We can customize our training to meet the needs of whatever group asks for our assistance."

Anyone interested in learning more about or scheduling training should contact Sarkos at 908.301.1899 or janet.sarkos@caringcontact.org.

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. To learn more, visit www.caringcontact.org.

Anyone interested in volunteering at Caring Contact, either as a listener or in some other capacity, should visit http://caringcontact.org/give-support/volunteer/.

About Caring Contact

Caring Contact is an award-winning, volunteer-staffed caring and crisis hotline providing active listening support and best-in-class education to the Central and Northern New Jersey community. We attentively and compassionately serve those in emotional distress and educate our communities about the power of personal connection. We are affiliated with CONTACT USA, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the American Association of Suicidology. If you are in crisis and need someone to listen, call us at 908-232-2880.To learn more, visit www.caringcontact.org