So often strengths are newly discovered during difficult times, and we believe that each person carries many of his or her own answers. Our mission is to provide callers in crisis or in need of support with unconditional acceptance, compassion, and respect in order to lower anxiety and facilitate the coping skills they already have. We want to help callers capitalize on their strengths in the prevention of self-destructive behaviors or suicide. We are here to provide referrals and information about community programs and resources. And lastly, we strive to heighten public awareness of suicide prevention through community education, outreach and training.
In the early 1970s, following a college student’s near suicide, members of the community came together and considered what options this student and others feeling alone might have for finding help. It was clear that a crisis hotline with local referral information was needed, and it must be available day and night. They gathered professional staff and volunteers, and created a training program for them. From these humble roots, the agency grew to serve all of Suffolk County and is now a nationally accredited program.Become a Volunteer
Callers phone us for many reasons, but most feel overwhelmed by a loss of some kind, such as the loss of a loved one, a job, one’s health, or one’s sense of hope. Sometimes they’re worried about a family member’s emotional or physical health and are seeking resources for them. Sometimes they’re struggling with a recent change, such as a re-location, a new baby, a divorce, a frightening diagnosis, and are feeling alone. Sometimes they struggle when misfortune affects a friend, co-worker, or neighbor.
In 2016, our telephone counselors responded to over 22,300 calls. Over 12,200 calls came through our Hotline, 4,600 through our Support Line, 1,800 through the Lifeline and 1,100 online. Calls related to a broad range of subjects - first party suicide, the suicidal thoughts of a loved one or colleague, violence, substance abuse, LGBTQ issues, loss, relationship issues, those seeking additional counseling, and more.Learn More About Our Hotlines
First, we listen, and we listen in a special way. We’re all familiar with the suggestions that well-intentioned friends and family so often give. While advice is sometimes what people seek during difficult times, more often it is the complete attention, acceptance, and empathy of one who cares that is truly called for.
On the hotline, our counselors give callers the time they need and listen not only for the facts, but, even more importantly, for the feelings – the music behind the words. This acceptance is empowering and helps callers to hear their own wisdom. We also help callers explore their options and, when requested, provide referrals.Our Community Referrals