Response Crisis Center Blog

A Crisis Chatline Counselor's Tips For Being a Better Digital Listener

Effective Intervention When Face-to-Face is Not an Option

Chris Lazarus is the Assistant Director of Operations, Online and Bilingual Services at Response Crisis Center. Recently, she partnered with Michelle Kuchuk, M.S Best Practices in Clinical Technologies at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and shared with us a few tips for maintaining a trusting tone with an individual in need of guidance and support on a digital chatline. As Chris and Michelle point out, there are many parts of human interaction that get 'lost-in-digital-translation', whether it be posture, facial expressions, or other nonverbal cues, operating the digital chatline is a delicate process that demands a gentle approach to expression and an even more dynamic approach to listening and understanding.

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Combatting The Parental Stereotype in '13 Reasons Why'

Thirteen Reasons Why (13RW) is a Netflix series adaptation of the book of the same name by Jay Asher. The series revolves around a high school student named Clay, who receives a series of tapes recorded by his recently deceased classmate and crush, Hannah Baker, which are about the 13 reasons why she died by suicide.  Since its release on March 31st, it has grown in popularity among primarily middle school and high school students.

The series has prompted a strong negative reaction among many experts in the field of suicide prevention. Concerns center around the potential for young viewers to identify with Hannah and see suicide as a valid way to cope with life's challenges. Experts emphasize that this sends a dangerous message and that, in fact, suicide is not a common response to adversity and that most people with suicidal thoughts reach out for help (which should be encouraged) and that help is effective and available. 

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Supporting Local Schools After Youth Suicides

By Meryl Cassidy

As Executive Director of Response Crisis Center, I’ve always been proud of my center’s capacity to respond to community needs — thus, our name: RESPONSE. However, our ability to respond to the complex needs of one our county’s 72 school districts was tested this past November when we learned of the second of two student suicides from one high school within a three week period.   Following the second suicide, the district angered the community through several missteps. For example, they held a school-wide assembly focused on bullying which left children feeling blamed and confused. Response’s Training Coordinator, a parent in the school district, reached out to administrative and mental health staff to advise them of our experience in postvention work. What ensued was the most challenging and rewarding six weeks of my career.

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