Our 24-hour crisis line volunteers are trained to answer all calls with compassion and empathy. We try to put ourselves in the shoes of the caller and listen to what they are saying. Some of the callers just need to be heard or even prayed with. We define a Crisis as any situation that puts the person in a state of mind that is not usual for them. For some it could be any triggering situation commonly food, finance and health While we are actively listening, we are pin pointing what their crisis is so that we can better help them break it down and manage the situation. This might be done through referring them out to partner agencies for help with food, housing and bills or even a job search. For those who just need to be heard we spend time listening to them and confirming that they are entitled to their emotions and feelings yet helping them find better ways to manage their situation through reflective reasoning which allows them to solve their own crisis. For those who do not see hope or the light at the end of the tunnel we actively work to get them to choose life and to choose help. Once we get them to the point of acknowledging they do want to live, then we enlist the help of professionals and family members who will give them the help that they need.
Based on the 2018 statistics we are seeing a rise in our Suicide related calls. Last year we had 52 people who reached out that were experiencing a Suicidal Crisis. Of those, we had 23 that we had to either call out professionals for a Well Check or have a family member take them directly to a facility to get the help that they needed; 12 of those were between the ages of 10-24. This coincides with the released statistics from the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network, that states Tennessee has reached an all-time high of deaths by suicide with numbers reaching 1164 in 2017. The state of Tennessee has not seen numbers like this since the depression era in 1947.
We have also seen a rise in our phone calls for those who are dealing with depression or other mental health crises We were able to be a resource to 98 people who are living with depression and/or are just lonely. We encouraged 38 of those to connect with a mental health professional for further treatment. As the stigma of mental health continues to melt, we believe we will see an increase in callers who just need encouragement and the reassurance that they can survive the day or night. Though it has been nationally reported that the overall economy has seen an improvement, in our area we have connected 972 to partner agencies for help with food, bills, and housing. With the total number of calls to our 24-Hour Crisis Line being 1203, we project this number to rise greatly in 2019.
" I was called into the counselor's office at school because I told a friend that I was going to kill myself. I didn't belong at school and with all of the drama at home I just couldn't do it anymore. The counselor reached out to this call line and the lady on the other end really listened to what I was saying and helped me to see that I was "NORMAL" despite how I was feeling. We then enlisted the help of my family and I got the help that I needed. I am so glad to be alive. I am sorting through my life with the help of professionals but I know I can call here anytime I just need to breath and talk it out."
" My husband walked out on me after 6 years of marriage and 2 kids. I didn't have a job and no idea where to go get help. I called this line and they helped direct me to a starting point to cover bills and get food for my kids."
"Our house burnt down and with all of the chaos of trying to find a place to stay and how to recover what we lost I was over whelmed. I called a friend who used this line in the past so I tried it. The man on the other end was very understanding and helped guide me to local places to gather food and resources to get us through until we could make since of it all. You never know when it could be you and you feel all alone, but I was glad there was a "Friend" on the other end of the phone who stayed calm while I fell apart."