Contact USA Programs
The core program of every CONTACT center. Through non-judgmental, active listening, intensively trained volunteers help callers identify their problems and come to their own solutions. Calls are anonymous, confidential and always free. In most communities, the helpline is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Information and Referral
While some calls to CONTACT may be all that is needed for the caller, others are the first step on the long road to recovery. First identifying the core problem, CONTACT volunteers can then link callers to community services where additional help is available.
Reassurance calling is the service whereby, prearranged, daily telephone calls are made to elderly, isolated, or disabled persons by trained Reassurance Specialists. This service can help delay and sometimes even prevent institutionalization, allowing individuals to stay in the familiar environment of their home, providing family members with additional respite.
Online Emotional Support
Online Emotional Support (OES) offers an alternative to anyone in need of emotional support who may not feel comfortable reaching out on the crisis hotline. Anecdotal evidence from crisis centers around the country has shown that for many years young people have seemed reticent to reach out to a telephone hotline. Additionally, people of all ages may feel more comfortable with the additional layer of anonymity and ease of access afforded by communicating through a computer. This includes people that may have social anxieties, may be deaf or hard-of-hearing or other disabilities that make verbal communication more challenging. CONTACT USA now offers accreditation for programs offering this service, as well as the opportunity to join the national CrisisChat.org portal for online emotional support. For more information, click here.
Certified Crisis Hotline Worker
In an effort to provide a standardized tool for evaluating crisis hotline workers, CONTACT USA offers individual accreditation. Once certified, an individual can say they have met national standards, are trained in crisis intervention and supportive listening skills, and that they have shown dedication by working a minimum of 200 hours on a qualifying phone line. Crisis centers may also use this certification as an evaluative tool for phone workers. Click here for additional information.
(Some of the creative programs offered by centers to meet local community needs)
CONTACT Teen Line
Teens are trained to help teens through a special helpline. Teen volunteers receive the same training as the adult program, with special emphasis on the unique problems of adolescents. Provides the volunteer with a lifetime experience and understanding of the importance of community involvement from an early age.
CONTACT Rape Crisis
Violence against women is unfortunately an all too common problem in many of our communities. Meeting this very special service need is a natural outgrowth for CONTACT centers who handle calls dealing with problems of this nature everyday. This program offers emergency and aftercare service for victims of rape and incest.
CONTACT Special Services
CONTACT helpline centers across the country are well suited to respond immediately to events and/or needs as they arise in the local community. Whether meeting a short term need in response to a crisis or developing a long term program, CONTACT centers initiate special programs serving specific needs within local communities such as AIDS information line, alcohol information line, overnight answering and back-up for community services, etc.