Online crisis services have proven to reach young people in crisis that will not reach out for help in any other way. Every day, we know of hundreds of people who turn to the Internet for suicide support and crisis help. A service called CrisisChat is run by a group of local crisis centers. It is a free online crisis service, and it needs your help.
We are currently in a time-limited campaign to increase the funds raised to $10,000 by the end of March! Any amount you can contribute to making this happen would be appreciated… $5, $10, $30, $50, $100 or more.
You can also make the contribution in memory of someone lost by suicide, just post a comment at the end of your contribution.
If you haven’t already seen the video, I encourage you to watch it. A handful of dedicated and courageous people came together to make the video happen and I know you will be touched by the stories and music:
The campaign is specifically to expand hours on CrisisChat into the overnight hours, a time when many chat visitors have told us we need to be open — when suicidal support is most needed (but also most difficult to find).
According to their website, your monetary contribution will help to:
- FUND – Crisis Centers
- ENABLE – 2-3 Chat Specialists per Center ($75/hr)
- INCREASE – hours of overnight operation, 3 hours/day for three months
- SAVE – lives with us!
Please consider supporting this valuable service today. Click here to contribute now.
The Crisis Chat Backstory
The idea for Crisis Chat started back in 2009 when a group of Crisis Call Centers in the United States began talking about new ways to serve people in crisis. For years, Crisis Call Centers had served people via crisis hotlines, but it was becoming more and more obvious that we needed to start thinking differently. Young people were not calling us; unsolicited emails were coming to our center asking for help and other Crisis Centers around the world, including in the U.K., New Zealand, and Israel, had already started online crisis chat programs with overwhelming success. Three Crisis Centers in the United States (in Albany, Austin, and Baton Rouge) decided it was finally time to start a national service in the United States.
CONTACT USA, a national organization dedicated to providing consultation and accreditation services to Crisis Centers, adopted the program and invested in the creation of a website to launch the service. Chat service began in August 2010; with minimal advertising, chat service steadily grew from only a few chats per day to 60 chats per day in 2012.
As chat volume grew, CONTACT USA added more Crisis Centers, providing them with technical support and a national website platform to launch from. The service was enormously popular and it quickly became apparent that the centers could not keep up with the number of chat requests coming in and the call for expanded hours from the chat visitors themselves.
Since this time, Crisis Centers have struggled with the internal resources necessary to keep up with the high number of people in distress that desperately need to connect with someone kind, compassionate and caring in their time of greatest need. These young people on chat are not comfortable calling a hotline and did not have a way to reach out for help before Crisis Chat. They prefer the safety and anonymity of talking online.
Sixteen centers now provide service on the portal in twelve states including the three founding centers. The other centers are in: Springdale, Arkansas; Pennington, NJ; Albuquerque, NM; Jackson, MS; Seattle, WA; Iowa City, IO; Wilmington, DE; Nashville, TN; and five centers in Maryland.