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Contact Community Services, Lets talk about it
Crisis and Suicide Prevention Counseling, Crisis Suicide Prevention Training, Crisis Suicide Prevention Volunteer School Services Student Programming, Education Services Teacher Training, Education Services Contact Community Services
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CNY Central NBC3’s Matt Mulcahy (left) and Megan Coleman (center) interview Contact’s Coordinator of Crisis Intervention Services Stephanie Grandjean.
Contact In the News
After Celebrity Suicides
Following the suicides of fashion designer Kate Spade and chef/television personality Anthony Bourdain, the Central New York media reached out to Contact Community Services to assess the local impact of these celebrity suicides and explain the crisis and suicide prevention services that Contact offers to CNY residents. Both Cheryl Giarrusso, Contact’s Director of Crisis Intervention Services, and Stephanie Grandjean, Contact’s Coordinator of Crisis Intervention Services, were interviewed by, among others ... read more
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PAX Award
The PAX Good Behavior Game team from Contact Community Services received a "What’s Great in Our State" award May 8 in Albany (Photo by Angelina VanCamp).
PAX to the MAX!
State Honors Contact for PAX GBG
Contact Community Services was honored Tuesday, May 8, at the New York State Office of Mental Health’s "What’s Great in our State 2018" in Albany. The annual event celebrates the people and programs making a difference in the field of children’s mental health. Contact works with the Syracuse City School District to implement the PAX Good Behavior Game (PAX GBG) in nine elementary schools. PAX is a universal, evidence-based prevention approach that affects substance abuse and mental health outcomes, and improves academic, behavioral, and social-emotional skills. ... read more
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Every Voice Matters
Vernon-Verona-Sherrill students perform during the "Every Voice Matters Concert & Talent Showcase" May 11 to benefit Contact’s suicide prevention services.
VVS’ "Every Voice Matters"
Benefits Suicide Prevention
Students and teachers from the Entertainment industries class at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School present Contact Community Services with a check for $1,200 from their "Every Voice Matters" Talent Showcase concert May 11.
... read more
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speed painter Tom Varano performed May 17 at Huntington PreK-8 School in Syracuse
Contact Partners With
Inspirational Speed Painter
As the result of a partnership with Contact Community Services, inspirational speed painter Tom Varano will perform for Syracuse City School District and Liverpool Central School District students in May and June. Varano, of Fayetteville, mixes speed painting and inspirational speaking to create an "Emotion Into Art" show that takes his audience on a journey of excitement ... read more
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Chestnut Hill Elementary School fourth-grade student Michael Nguyen. (Photo by Arsenio Wallace)
This Chestnut Hill Student
Is Following the American Dream
Michael Nguyen is a fourth-grade student at Chestnut Hill Elementary School in the Liverpool Central School District who has been working with Arsenio Wallace, one of our Youth Development Specialists at the school. Arsenio recently shared this story about Michael’s progress this school year: "Michael has done a great job all year doing his personal best. ... read more
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Cure Stigma
Let’s #CureStigma
for Mental Health Month
Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. During Mental Health Month in May, we are supporting the efforts of the National Alliance on Mental Illness to raise awareness of mental health. NAMI’s theme this year is "CureStigma." According to NAMI, one in five Americans is affected by a mental health condition. Stigma is toxic to their mental health ... read more
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Brian Fore
Chestnut Hill Elementary School first-grade student Brian Fore almost always Beats The Clock!
"Super Student" Motivated
To Beat The Clock
Every child is different, and each child in Contact’s Youth Development Services program requires a special set of interventions and strategies to help improve behavior and academic performance. Read Youth Development Specialist Katie Filippone’s latest newsletter (PDF) to see how one first-grade student at Chestnut Hill Elementary in the Liverpool School District is showing progress with strategies such as "Beat The Clock."
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Our Heartfelt Thanks to our Volunteers
Thank You Hotline Volunteers!
April is National Volunteer Month, and Contact would like to say thank you to our dedicated and compassionate Hotline volunteers who donate their time and talents for our community! Through the work of our volunteers, we are able to provide free crisis and suicide prevention counseling and trainings to Central New York residents. Visit our Volunteer Page to learn more about volunteering at Contact.
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Hotline Volunteer Dan Connors
Hotline Volunteer Dan Connors
Contact Hotline Gives
Volunteer "A Listening Ear"
After initially serving as a Contact Community Services’ Hotline volunteer in 1996, Dan Connors returned last year after experiencing the loss of a friend who died by suicide. "I want to give back to the community, so I give back to Contact," Dan said. "I don’t want something like this to happen to anybody I know ever again." Dan has always wanted to help others ... read more
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Prom Dress Giveaway is awesome
Students from throughout the Syracuse City School District shopped for free prom dresses and accessories at the 2nd Annual Prom Dress Giveaway.
Prom Dress Giveaway is "Awesome"
Jesyriana Farruggio picked the right place to go dress shopping for the first time. Jesyriana, a 10th-grader at Henninger High School, was one of several Syracuse City School District students who attended the 2nd Annual Prom Dress Giveaway March 24 at PSLA at Fowler High School in Syracuse. She found a dress, shawl, shoes, purse and jewelry for Henninger’s Junior Prom in May, and all the items at the event were free. "This is my first time dress shopping, and this is awesome," said Jesyriana ... read more
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Matt Barnes
Long Branch Elementary School Counselor Matt Barnes displays perseverance and courage in climbing to the top of the rope! (Photo courtesy of Matthew Biss)
Today’s Lesson:
Perseverance and Courage
Matthew Biss, our Youth Development Specialist at Long Branch Elementary School in the Liverpool Central School District, shared this story about how the school community at Long Branch is utilizing "The Positivity Project" and how one staff member didn’t just talk about it, he did it! We’ll let Matthew take it from here: At Long Branch Elementary School, the staff and students believe it’s as important to build character as it is to build the students’ skills in math, reading and writing. Many schools and school districts promote teaching the "whole child;" ... read more
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Assembly Member Pamela Hunter, D-Syracuse, visits a Primary Project playroom at Donlin Drive Elementary School with Contact’s Colleen O’Dell (right).
Local Elected Officials
Cast Vote for Primary Project
The best way to stop a big problem later is to prevent a smaller one now. That’s the idea behind Primary Project, a research-based, early intervention program that Contact Community Services administers in 27 elementary schools in the Syracuse City, East Syracuse Minoa Central, and Liverpool Central school districts. The program for children in grades K-3 identifies and addresses emerging problems such as shyness, anxiety, moodiness, defiance, and problems forming peer relationships... ... read more
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Onondaga County Coalition Unveils Suicide Prevention Strategies
Suicide Prevention Coalition
Unveils Strategies for County
The Onondaga County Suicide Prevention Coalition unveiled its strategies to help prevent suicide in Onondaga County at a news conference Sept. 11 at the VA Medical Center in Syracuse....According to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide in the United States has surged to the highest level in 30 years. In Onondaga County, there were a reported 180 deaths by suicide from 2013-15, an increase of 64 percent from 2001-03. ... read more
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Kelly Johst Receives First Gail Sterling Volunteer Award
Kelly Johst (left) and Gail Sterling. (Photo courtesy of Rocco Carbone)
Kelly Johst Receives First
Gail Sterling Volunteer Award
Contact Community Services Hotline volunteers Kelly Johst and Gail Sterling share many of the same traits: They’re a positive presence in the call center, compassionate with their callers, and dedicated to their roles as peer trainers....Gail and Carl Sterling, Kelly Johst, John J. Kindon III, Amanda Spear, Kendra Vavra read more...
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Suicide
Don’t Ignore This "Invitation"
Jim McKeever is a professional writer who became intrigued by the tragic story of "Marie," a 57-year-old local woman who died by suicide. Who was Marie, Jim wondered, and what drove her to end her own life? Jim’s research took him to Contact Community Services, where he spoke with Crisis Intervention Services Director Cheryl Giarrusso. Cheryl said people like Marie who are considering suicide often send "invitations" to loved ones and friends that they’re going through a difficult time. ... read more
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13 reasons
Media Turns To Contact
For "13 Reasons Why" Stories
The popular Netflix series "13 Reasons Why" has sparked conversation nationally about teenage suicide, and here in Central New York the media has turned to Contact Community Services to determine the impact of the show on local teens and for information on how to prevent teen suicide. ... read more
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Primary Project
These 40 Minutes Per Week
Make Big Difference for Child
This is my third year working with Primary Project at McKinley-Brighton Elementary School in the Syracuse City School District, and I have met a lot of great students and seen a lot of positive improvements in their adjustments to school through the program. But this past fall was particularly meaningful because I met a little girl who made exceptional progress in our time working together. ... read more


Hotline call 315-251-0600 24/7 Contact Holine
Suicide, crisis, and telephone counseling 315-251-0600
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East Syracuse, NY 13057


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