Crisis Call Center Needs Volunteers

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RENO, Nev. -- Crises can affect anyone at anytime, but the Crisis Call Center of Northern Nevada is there for anyone seeking help, support and information.

Many people dealing with substance abuse, domestic violence or thoughts of suicide often need guidance.

"There's a lot of sad, tired people out there who just needs a human being's voice on the other end of the line," a Crisis Call Center volunteer said.

One phone call can be the difference between life and death.

"So often when you go through a tough time, you kind of feel like you're alone and no one else feels this way. It can be really scary," Justine Hernandez, Prevention Education and Outreach Specialist said.

The Crisis Call Center in Northern Nevada is available 24 hours per day all year round to give callers the resources you need to get through a tough time.

"I talked somebody down and got them help and they were able to get to emergency assistance," Tara Cummiskey, Crisis Line Program Assistant said. "I feel like I changed their lives."

The hotline provides support, referrals and crisis intervention. Sometimes all the person really needs is just someone to talk to.

"It's not about that subscribed narrative because there isn't one," Hernandez said. "To connect with that person, let them know that you care and everything will be all right."

Victims who are uncomfortable talking on the phone can send a text message to the Crisis Call Center and someone will still be able to help them. Text "Answer" to 839863.

"A lot of teens are hurting and they don't know who to turn to, who to talk to," Cummiskey said. "Bullying is such an issue so we're really trying to target that population with [texting]."

In order for this call center to work, it needs volunteers. The Crisis Call Center has over 100 volunteers, but are still looking for more.

"It may seem sad to work here or things like that because we deal with so much of the depression, but it really is positive because everyone in this building wants to do good," Hernandez said.

Although experience is not required, they ask volunteers to commit to a minimum one-year terms of service. Training sessions are held quarterly with 56 hours worth of class time and additional hours for hands-on-experience.

"There's no right way to take a suicide call so just come in and be ready for the experience," Hernandez said. "Trust the process because it might seem a little bit scary and daunting but if you trust yourself and think 'I can do this' than you can."

The next training day starts January 9 from 6-9 p.m. For more information about volunteering, click on the link below.