When a crisis strikes, it’s not unusual to feel that there’s nowhere to turn — like there’s no one to talk to.
The Crisis Center, based in Bristol, Va., was founded to make sure that was never the case.
The center has served Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee since 1972, lending a hand to people going through ersonal ordeals ranging from suicidal thoughts to sexual abuse to anxiety about poverty or disabilities.
One of the primary services the center provides is a hotline intended to lend an ear to those who feel no one else will listen.
“One of the reasons we were founded is the 24-hour hotline,” said center employee Emily Anne Thompson. “We have a local hotline, as well as feeds from two national suicide hotlines, a rape hotline and a sexual assault hotline.”
A new group of hotline volunteers is just completing its required 50 hours of coursework, and will soon begin hands-on training with experienced workers at the Crisis Center’s office.
Thompson said the new workers will have about 20 hours of additional training on calls with current hotline volunteers to ensure they’ve been exposed to a cross-section of calls.