The thing I like about Caring Contact is the direct relationship between giving and the ongoing business of the organization. I like helping to keep the organization going. I can understand how my donation will be translated into serving the community. I can see the direct impact of my donation. – Donor
The number one risk factor for suicide is social isolation. The number one protective factor is social connection. Caring Contact provides social connection through our phone support and builds social connection through our community trainings.
I want to say 'Thank you' for the last 29 years for standing by me and remaining some of the finest friends I have ever known. Your kindness and humanity have helped me heal and discover the courage to carry on with my new life. - Repeat Caller
They call us because people around them don't want to hear about their problems. The people who love you are going to want to shake it out of you. That's why what we do is so important. We fill a vital niche – we are listeners. – Listener Fran
Our volunteers engage in active, empathetic listening to anyone looking for help.
We teach best practices in the field. Our Mental Health First Aid and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills trainings are both listed on the National Registry of Suicide Prevention Evidence-Based Practices, having been proven clinically effective through testing and research.
``I wanted to say thank you. Without you I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have went to the mental health and got help. I decided I really don't want to die. I wanted these bad feelings to die, not everything else`` – Former Caller
``I'm so glad you’re there. I’m sitting in my car Googling how to kill myself and your number came up.`` - Former Caller
Our young people are in trouble. Suicide is currently the fourth leading cause of death among children 10-14, the third leading cause of death of youth aged 15-24 and the second leading cause of death among college students.
A 2013, a New Jersey Student Health survey found that within the last year about six students out of a typical class of 20 reported feeling sad or hopeless for at least two weeks straight; nearly four students in that same class purposefully hurt themselves by cutting or burning; three of the students considered suicide; two to three students made a suicide plan; and two students out of that class of 20 attempted suicide one or more times.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that among young people ages 15-24 there are 100-200 suicide attempts for each suicide death.
In New Jersey in 2012 (the latest year available), 683 people took their lives. The resulting financial costs to New Jersey residents were:
The average cost to train someone in mental health crisis response through Caring Contact is $100. The average cost of a call to Caring Contact is $15.
The most important part of communication is listening. At Caring Contact, you learn active listening skills that can be used anywhere with anyone.
Through training, our listeners become nationally certified in Mental Health First Aid and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills, useful in responding to mental health crises wherever you are.
``You learn to listen. I don’t care if you’re teaching or trading or talking to someone over the phone, you have to be able to hear what they’re saying. Sometimes it’s sub-texted.`` – Listener Pat, human resources professional
We receive calls and texts from both men and women of all ages, including teenagers.
Callers are students, parents, retirees, business professionals – people in any profession and stage of life.
We connect everyday people to everyday people.
Our volunteers are business managers, health administrators, sales people, computer programmers, engineers, scientists, real estate agents, police officers, teachers, government workers, accountants, financial planners, lawyers, human resource professionals and many other professions. Both men and women volunteer with us.
We provide 24/7 phone support through a partnership with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
We provide 24/7 texting support through our national partnership with Crisis Text Line.
We keep an updated list of community resources readily available to our listeners.
We are a core member of the Y Mental Health Community Initiative, connecting you to local community agencies.
We participate with the Mental Health First Aid in New Jersey Leadership Council. We help implement Mental Health First Aid training in communities across the state.
We never share donor information with those outside our agency. All of our staff and volunteers sign a confidentiality agreement.