A local nonprofit organization in Huntsville underwent renovations in order for counselors to take more calls from those going through the toughest times in their lives.
Crisis Services of North Alabama was the focus of a project to remodel their helpline room.
"It had three stations for crisis counselors to work. We now have seven stations where people can work," said Connie Kane, Crisis Counseling Program Manager.
The nonprofit agency provides services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. They also operate a 24/7 crisis line as part of the Suicide Prevention Lifeline network.
A group from Leadership Huntsville-Madison County Class 31 adopted the center for their group project and just renovated their call center.
"Last year, they handled 24,000 calls through their call center. That tells you the type of service and the need that we have in our community when it comes to mental health.hen it comes to family crisis. This organization is fulfilling that need," said Sonia Robinson, who was part of the group that did the project. "We're grateful for the opportunity to have been a small part of impacting that change."
Connie Kane said Crisis Services is grateful that Leadership Huntsville-Madison County chose them for their project.
"They also improved the safety of it so the security is much better. They also improved the acoustics so you're not as interrupted when you're on a call and your co-worker is taking a call," Kane explained.
The volunteer agents are taking tough phone calls from people in the community who need help and Robinson says her group wanted them to handle those calls in a more calming atmosphere.
"We really wanted to transform that place to be somewhere the agents felt comfortable, it was friendly and warm, it was a welcoming environment for them to work," Robinson said.
"They take calls from people who are considering suicide so they may spend a long time, an hour, on the phone with somebody. You need a place to work that's comfortable and a place where you can listen and you're not disturbed by what's going on next to you," Kane added.
Crisis Services of North Alabama is also starting a teen text and chat line to communicate with young people in need of help. It's set to launch this summer. They will be training volunteers as young as 16.
If you're interested in volunteering for the Crisis Line or Crisis Text, contact the volunteer coordinator, Heather, at 256-705-6766 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
"The more volunteers that we have, the more calls that we are able to answer," Kane stated. "We only had one volunteer sometimes per shift last year. This year, we've been able to increase the number of volunteers."
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