Blogroll – Crisis Call Center


Meet Crisis Support Services of Nevada Board Member Steph Peterson

Congratulations to Crisis Support Services of Nevada Board Member, Stephanie Beban Peterson, Director, Risk & Compliance — Global Business Operations for Microsoft Corporation, for receiving the 2018 National TRIO Achievers award on September 13, 2018, at the Council for Opportunity in Education’s 37th Annual Conference in New York City.

Federal TRIO programs help students to overcome class, social, academic, and cultural barriers to higher education. Students served by the TRIO programs must come from families with incomes under $37,650, where neither parent graduated from college.

Steph Peterson is accountable for a global team that manages the Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC) program for Microsoft’s Business Operations. Microsoft Business Operations owns the launch and execution of the agreement-to-cash programs and processes for Microsoft and oversees this work for approximately $100B of revenue.

Recently, she has been sponsored to participate in the Hispanic IT Executive Council’s Emerging Executive program. In 2016, she received the MVP Award for her leadership of Microsoft’s Annual Giving Campaign, raising over $1M in funds for charitable organizations. She received the Reno-Tahoe’s 20 Under 40 award in 2015 and was recognized as a Nevada Women of Achievement in 2017. And somehow, she finds time to coach her kid’s basketball teams and participate as a Board Member for Crisis Support Services of Nevada.

Steph is an alumni of the TRIO Upward Bound Program at UNR and is committed to supporting underrepresented communities. She accredits TRIO programs as one of the main reasons that she committed herself to going to college and was successful once there. Steph was raised below the poverty line with a supportive mom and siblings but not college educated; college and a professional career were not something she would have been exposed to growing up. Upward Bound provided her a safe and reliable place to immerse herself in education and to be supported by counselors and educators that believed in her. Every day, Steph continues to utilize the skills and confidence that she built while in the program and is forever grateful. She also gives back to TRIO via speaking engagements and bringing STEM panels to conferences. This year, she was recognized as a National TRIO Achiever in New York.

Steph holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nevada. In her spare time, she is an avid snowboarder and enjoys global adventuring both solo and with her family.

We are so proud to have Steph on our Board of Directors to help us ensure that those in crisis can get help free of charge, 24/7.


Why do we do what we do? Crisis Support Services of Nevada

Why do the staff and volunteers of Crisis Support Services of Nevada (aka Crisis Call Center) do what we do 24/7/365? Because everyone needs a reminder that there can be a better tomorrow! We provide an empathetic ear, a caring heart, and a helping hand.

This video, shown at the 2nd Annual Compassion through the Crisis Breakfast (produced by Noble Studios), explains why we do what we do!!



Crisis Call Center announces a new name – Crisis Support Services of Nevada

Executive Director Rachelle Pellissier shares the organization’s history and future as Crisis Call Center announces a new name – Crisis Support Services of Nevada

In front of 380 people at the 2nd Annual Compassion through the Crisis breakfast held on September 27th at the Nugget Resort and Casino, Executive Director Rachelle Pellissier announced plans to change the Crisis Call Center’s name to Crisis Support Services of Nevada.

At the breakfast, Pellissier shared the organization’s history, as well as the rebranding process that organization staff and volunteers have been undergoing with the support of Noble Studios. This rebranding process included developing a new name, new logo, brand strategy, messaging, and website that reflects the work the organization does to save lives in Nevada and across the nation.

In her speech, Pellissier shared the organization’s vast history, reported on the thousands of people that were served last year, and announced the Crisis Support Services of Nevada Board of Directors and staff plans for the future as they raise awareness across the state, fight stigmas across society, and help those in need find a beacon of hope in their darkest moments.

Read the transcript of Pellissier’s speech below for the whole story.

“I am Rachelle Pellissier, and I have had the privilege to be the Executive Director of the Crisis Call Center for almost 3 years.

The Crisis Call Center has been saving lives for more than 52 years. The organization was established as an outreach program of the University of Nevada, Reno in 1966 in response to the high rate of suicide in Nevada. Working with Northern Nevada Adult Mental Health Services, a plan was created to establish a 24-hour suicide prevention hotline. This was really quite amazing when you remember that in 1966 there were no cell phones, and only one phone per family; the kind where you dialed the number.

When the Center started, Nevada was the state with the highest rate of suicide per capita. In the last several years, we moved out of that #1 position. Last year, for the first time, we moved out of the top 10 states for the highest rates of suicide to number 11. Unfortunately, that was a blip and this year we have jumped back to number 5, tied with Colorado.

Here’s a picture of our first office in the library of UNR. How many of you remember phone booths? The organization actually started on April 1st. Obviously the pioneers who dreamed of and started the Center had a sense of humor.

The organization started out as an all-volunteer hotline. When someone wasn’t answering the calls from the office, volunteers took the calls at home. When phone calls came in the middle of the night, and there was a need to dispatch emergency personnel to help someone who was suicidal, the volunteer would have to send one of their kids or spouse next door to the neighbor’s house to call the police. That was before 911.

In the first few months of operations, the need for our service proved to be so great; it was expanded to include support for any persons in any type of crisis. In 1979, the Center again expanded its service by adding an advocacy program for victims of sexual assault. Next year will be 40 years of advocating for those who have been sexually assaulted in Northern Nevada.

The Crisis Call Center operates 24/7/365. Our funding is primarily through many Federal and State grants, so all services are free of charge to those who contact us. It is a common misconception that the organization is still an arm of UNR, but that has not been the case for many years now.

Now our pool of volunteers and staff members help those in crisis to make safety plans and dispatch emergency services to those in imminent danger both in Nevada and all over the United States.

The Crisis Call Center is one of 10 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Call Centers. All calls to the Lifeline from Nevada come to our center. We also get the calls that roll over from other centers across the nation when they are unable to answer all of the calls from their region.In 2010, the organization evolved again as one of the first crisis centers in the nation to implement a texting service for crisis intervention, immediately getting response from youth ages 10 – 24 who would not have called in for help, but would text in a crisis.

The Center helped over 67,000 people last year. Of the 67,000 + people we helped, over 11,500 were via text message primarily from kids.

The Center helped over 19,000 Nevadans last year. As I said, we take care of the whole state. 37% of those 19,000 people were from Washoe County, 38% were from Clark County, and 25% were from the rural counties.

Not all of the people we helped were over the phone. The Sexual Assault Support Services volunteers and staff advocates provided service to all victims of sexual violence in Northern Nevada. Last year our organization assisted 450 assault victims and their families. These services run the gamut from meeting with the victim immediately after the assault, dispatching the forensic nurse to do the exams of those who are sexually assaulted, being present and providing advocacy during the forensic exam, facilitating victim assistance, and following up with the victim for up to six months. We do our best to help the victims of these heinous assaults, to not only become survivors, but hopefully thrivers once again.

Over the years, as technology and the needs of our community and state evolved, so did the services that we provide.
• We now take child protective service reports for Washoe County Human Services.
• We take all of the CPS reports for the rural Nevada county CPS offices. We do this 24/7.
• We take after hours elder abuse reports for the Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division.
• We receive the after-hours crisis calls for all of Nevada’s Rural Behavioral Health Clinics.
• We also take the after-hours crisis calls for UNR’s Clinical Services.

As I said, over the past 50 years, the services we provide have evolved along with technology and the needs of our community. We are not just a crisis call center any more. We do not just help those in Washoe County any more. We provide crisis services for the entire state and the nation.

Because of this we have started looking at planning for the next 50 years. We have begun looking at why we do the work we do, what our purpose is, what our mission is, and how that will evolve in the future. We have been blessed to be the recipient of Noble Studios’ Noble Deeds grant. Through this grant, Noble Studios is helping us to rebrand the organization, to better reflect the organization that we have become, the organization that we plan to become in the future and the new services we may develop, not just regionally, but for the whole state.

This rebranding has helped us to remember and celebrate our history and look forward to our future. It has shown us that we are not just a Crisis Call Center any more, we are much more.








Because of that the Board of Directors and I are very excited to announce a change to our name that reflects everything we are and everything we will grow to be.

Our new name will be Crisis Support Services of Nevada. The Crisis Call Center and Sexual Assault Support Services will still be going strong; we will just be working under a name more reflective of everything we do – to be a beacon of hope in people’s darkest moments by providing compassion, empowerment and education.

I will leave you with a quote from John F Kennedy:

“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger – but recognize the opportunity.”

The Crisis Call Center, now to be known as Crisis Support Services of Nevada, has always been aware of the danger, but recognizes the opportunity to help people to see that there can be a better tomorrow.”


September is National Suicide Prevention Month


September is National Suicide Prevention Month

How common is suicide risk?

Thoughts of suicide are more common than you might think. Nearly everyone, at some time in their life, thinks about suicide. There are many reasons that people often decide to live—because they realize that the crisis is temporary, but death is not, because they find people or reasons to live for, or because they decide to reach out for and get the help they need. But people in the middle of a crisis often believe they can’t escape and feel out of control of their lives. When in crisis, they can’t see any other way out, can’t stop the pain, and can’t see any possible change.

Nevada has an unfortunate reputation for suicide. In 2014, suicide was the 3rd leading cause of death for Nevada teens and young adults (between the ages of 15 and 24.) It’s also believed that for every teen that dies by suicide, between 100 and 200 teens have attempted. Previous suicide attempts are one of the largest risk factors for completing suicide. If someone you know has made an attempt before, it’s important to talk to them about suicide.

Many people believe that talking about suicide with a person might “give them the idea” and make them attempt, but that’s not the case—if they have already started showing some of the warning signs of suicide (below), suicide has already occurred to them as an option. People contemplating suicide often won’t bring it up to anyone, but if someone asks them if they’re feeling suicidal or thinking about killing themselves it is usually a relief to be asked and makes it easier for them to talk about it. Because suicide is such a taboo topic in general, anyone who feels suicidal may struggle to talk openly about it, and without talking about it they’re more likely to complete suicide.

Speaking directly and honestly with a close friend or loved one is one of the best ways to help them work through suicidal thoughts and feelings. So remember, ask about suicide if you’re worried for someone— you won’t be “putting it in their head,” and you might save their life.

Suicide Prevention

Be aware of the different warning signs:

• Are they talking about suicide, even jokingly?
• Do they say or seem to feel hopeless?
• Have they ever said anything like “I don’t know why I bother” or “There’s no point anyways”?
• Are they acting recklessly, like using drugs or alcohol, cutting class, driving dangerously or other risky behaviors, or doing other things they normally wouldn’t do?
• Have their emotions changed a lot, especially from happy to angry or sad?
• Are they withdrawing and cutting off friends and family?

There is a phrase to help remember some warning signs — IS PATH WARM?

So, how should you speak to someone who has told you that they are suicidal?

There’s no rulebook when it comes to suicide, but there are some important things to remember.

• Be direct and honest about suicide. Don’t be afraid to tell them that you’re concerned about them, ask about suicide, or talk about their feelings. It might be uncomfortable, but if you can’t communicate directly, then the other person may not feel comfortable expressing themselves.
• Remember to listen, don’t just be present. This person may describe their pain, their triggers, or their general feelings. They’ve been struggling with these topics, and they need to be heard. Only speak when needed, don’t interrupt or try to minimize their feelings. Never use phrases like, “Well, at least you don’t have cancer!” or “You really don’t mean that!” That’s not helpful.
• Also, avoid giving advice—they may have already tried your solution, or won’t appreciate you trying to ‘fix’ the situation. You can always make suggestions, like ‘have you tried talking to the school counselor?’ but don’t expect them to do it unless they want to.
• Offer empathy, not sympathy. While they seem like the same word, they’re not. Empathy means truly understanding someone, putting yourself in their shoes, and trying to understand why they’re in pain. Ask yourself—“How would I feel if I was going through this?”
• Keep your statements and expressions non-judgmental. If the other person feels that you’re judging them they’re going to shut down. Your conversation needs to feel safe for the other person, so don’t make them feel like their thoughts or feelings are wrong or bad.
• Take action!! Get help from people and agencies specializing in suicide and suicide prevention.
• If your friend isn’t sure how to go about finding a counselor, involving an adult is always helpful. This can be a favorite teacher, an extended family member like a grandparent, a church leader, or your own parent. Seeking a counselor usually involves going through the family’s insurance plan or calling 211 for low-cost counseling.

Resources for Help

• Suicide Hotline (1-800-273-8255 or text CARE to 741741)
Crisis Call Center (775-784-8090 or text LISTEN to 839863)
• 211—Referrals to low-cost, human assistance agencies throughout the country.
• American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) (
• The Trevor Project-LGBTQ (1-866-488-7386)
• Children’s Mobile Crisis Response Team (Northern Nevada: 775-688-1670, Southern and Rural Nevada: 702-486-7865)
• Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) (
• National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) (Northern Nevada: 775-470-5600, Southern Nevada: 702-219-1675)
• Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) (1-800-662-4357)
• TUFF-Interfaith Pastoral Counseling, coaching, and trauma relief (Only Southern Nevada: 702-569-9901)



Register Now! 2nd Annual Compassion through the Crisis Event – September 27, 2018

Complete the form below to register – Space is Limited!

Crisis Call Center is excited to present:

2nd Annual Compassion through the Crisis
Thursday, September 27th from 8-9 am
Nugget Casino Resort

Join us for this free informative breakfast to learn more about the Crisis Call Center’s mission and the hundreds of thousands of people we have helped through crisis over the past 50 years.

If you have used our services, donated, volunteered or worked for us, or just want to learn more about this organization that has become vital to our community and state, please come to this event!

Space is limited, and reservations are required to attend. To reserve your seat, fill out the form below and click “Submit” to sign up.

To register by phone or by email, contact Taylor Wilson at 775-221-7624 or email

We appreciate your support!

Complete this form to register and click SUBMIT below:

Download the PDF flyer

More information: Compassion through the Crisis 2018


Take Time For Yourself – Do Self-care!

Our lives can be frantic, but lets not forget about taking care of ‘me!’

It can happen to any of us; we invest so much time in worrying about others that we fail to take care of ourselves. That’s understandable, but it isn’t going to help anyone in the long run. An old teacher of mine once told me, “If we give everything we have to someone else we become the ones in need.” So, don’t stop caring, but don’t forget to take care of you.

Here are some great tips for taking care of yourself on any given day:

1) Fuel your body right: Try to eat balanced meals and give the body the nutrition it craves daily. Try to exercise at least a few times a week. Don’t have time? Try crock pot recipes to save time that would’ve been spent cooking towards gyming!

2) Pursue your intellectual passions: Read up on that hobby you love or do ‘that thing’ that you’ve been wanting to start today instead of watching another rerun or distracting yourself with some simpler entertainment. Progress towards a goal can be very rewarding.

3) Communicate more: We humans are social creatures. We crave the company of others in some way. When’s the last time you talked to an old friend? A family member? Wrote a letter or a card? Take time out of your day to engage others in your day; it could brighten up yours and another’s day!

Have a great week, and remember to take care of numero uno!


September 28, 2017 – Compassion Through the Crisis: 50 Years and Beyond

Join Crisis Call Center on September 28, 2017 for Compassion Through the Crisis: 50 years and Beyond

This free event will be held from 8-9 a.m. at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, NV. A continental breakfast will be served. Reservations are required to attend this event. Call Taylor Wilson at 775-221-7624 or email to RSVP or for more information.



Download the PDF flyer





















More information:



January 15, 2017 – Power and Sexual Assault in the Arts: An Intimate Discussion

Join Crisis Call Center on January 15, 2017 for Power and Sexual Assault in the Arts: An Intimate Discussion

The event will be held from 2-5 pm at The Generator, 1240 Icehouse Ave., Sparks, NV.

Please RSVP here:

More information:



Resources and information to help ensure that there is no safe haven for predation and sexual assault in our arts communities and organizations. The second in a series of quarterly events, featuring speakers from RPD, UNR, SASS, Crisis Call Center and advocates from all walks of life.

One of the hopes and intended consequences of this Town Hall is to bring awareness of the resources available to people who have experienced sexual assault, their families, friends and advocates. To create environments within the arts community, its works spaces, gatherings, organizations and events that foster support, respect and the safety of all artists and supporters of the arts.

It is our hope that those who express interest in this event, follow through on their personal convictions and act, be present and participate in the Town Hall and add their voices to the cause, in support of their sisters, daughters, mothers, aunts, grandmothers and wives and to teach, inform and educate their sons, brothers, others and fellow creators about the ways that we all can work together to end sexual violence and assault, one person at a time.
The event is on Sunday, January 15, the day before Martin Luther King’s birthday (which is a national holiday). This date allows for greater participation, so please mark your calendars and plan on bringing a friend. And thank you for being part of the solution, part of the discussion and part of the healing.

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