Since 1973, Contact Care Line's Mission has been to provide free and compassionate emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress through confidential telephone service, and now through chat or text.
Our longstanding partner, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, goes a long way to let people know that help is available, but it falls to local organizations like ours to actually train, staff, and answer those seeking help.
My time at CONTACT Care Line has taught me how to actively listen, to be patient and to give my full attention to every situation…I am extremely grateful for the tools CONTACT has given me—tools that have not only helped me respond to callers, but tools that have changed my life. During my time here, I have learned more valuable lessons and gained more experience than I have in any classroom or job position. Rather than rushing through life by multitasking or turning the focus of conversations to myself, I now give my attention to the present moment. When people ask me about CONTACT, I tell them that it not only changes the lives of the callers, but the lives of the volunteers, as well. Although our patience is tested more on some days than others, I leave each shift knowing that I have somehow made a caller’s day better. On behalf of the University of Tennessee’s psychology students who have had the opportunity to work with CONTACT, thank you for teaching us how to take a step back from our hectic lives and go back to the basics of listening.
After escaping to a women’s shelter, a necessary divorce, and receiving professional diagnosis of my son’s disabilities, the best journey for us seemed my becoming a college student. Although I assumed there would be difficult times ahead, I had no idea of the level of suffering social isolation would add to my life. Without CONTACT Care Line in place to ease the suffering, my life, and the lives of those around me would have been at the least, more difficult. Thank you for being there for me.