CONTACT We Care 24-hour crisis hotline

CONTACT We Care 24-hour crisis hotline Logo

Basic Information

Address: P.O. Box 2376 Westfield, NJ
Phone Number: 908-301-1899
Fax Number: 908-301-1822
Director: David Owens

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Additional Information

Causes Served: mental health crisis hotline
Clearances Required: Yes
Population Served: anyone needing comfort and support; callers are depressed, stressed and suicidal
Ages for Volunteer: 18+
Hours of Service: 24- hours/365 days a year
Minimum Hours Required: 8 hours a month
Days of Service: 365 days a year
Mission Statement:

CONTACT We Care believes that every human being has intrinsic value. We provide hope, offer compassion, and save lives through our caring & crisis hotline and community outreach programming. We devote ourselves to preventing suicide and other self-destructive behavior by listening actively and empathetically to people in distress, offering them emotional support without judgment. Since volunteers make our service possible, we are committed to providing an enriched, rewarding volunteer experience.

Program History:

CONTACT We Care’s roots date back to the early 1960s in Sydney, Australia. A Methodist pastor named Alan Walker received a message from the local police. A destitute old man had been found dead in his apartment in one of the poorer sections of the city; he had left a note addressed to Rev. Walker. The man had been a devoted listener to Reverend Walker’s Sunday evening radio program. The radio had been his only possession of any value and he killed himself when it was repossessed. His note said, “Nobody cares.”

That phrase struck a sad chord with Rev. Walker. There should always be a place someone like this man could turn to for solace. And with that was born the idea of an anonymous, confidential telephone service, where anyone could call who needed someone to speak with about their problems, their fears, their hopes for a better life. The new service, named Lifeline, was promoted with great fanfare in Sydney: “Help is as close as the telephone.” It was a huge success.

Dr. Walker traveled the world to talk about the importance of extending help to those in need of a patient listener through the medium of the telephone. In the U.S., Lifeline was renamed CONTACT. CONTACT We Care was founded in Westfield, NJ in 1975. The name of our local chapter is an answer to the Australian suicide’s statement: We Care. At one time there were more than 150 chapters around the U.S. Today, only 52 remain.

Our mission is to offer nonjudgmental listening to all callers, regardless of age, race, religion or gender, around the clock.


Save the Date!
35th Anniversary Gala
Thursday, November 11, 2010

Additional Information:

CONTACT Listener: 

Are you looking for an opportunity to enrich your life while helping others in your community?

Do you have a knack for listening? If you think you have a special way with people — an ability to listen empathetically and provide unconditional acceptance — we invite you to become a CONTACT Listener.

As a CONTACT Listener you will answer calls to CONTACT’s award-winning Caring & Crisis Hotline.

Beginning with the highest quality, comprehensive training program and continuing with on-going supervision and advanced trainings, CONTACT We Care ensures that each and every CONTACT Listener is prepared to deal with the wide range of issues they will confront on the phone lines. The 50-hour Volunteer Training Program is taught by experts in active listening, grief recovery, mental health issues, substance abuse, and suicide intervention. It is dynamic and highly interactive.

As a CONTACT Listener, you would be asked to make a commitment to serving eight hours per month on the Caring and Crisis Line. As a 24-hour service, we offer a totally flexible schedule. Pick the days and times that work best for you!

CONTACT Listeners must be at least 18 years old.