The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay: Connecting Teens to Support in Tampa

It took courage for Ryan to speak up.

He called the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay one evening – dialed 1-800-273-TALK – looking for someone who would listen. He told the intervention specialist in the Gateway Contact Center that he was 17 years old, and he was having thoughts of suicide.

The specialist spoke with Ryan for a long while that night, helping him to realize his life had meaning and people cared about him.

The SpeakUp5k event, held for the first time last year in Tampa, Florida, raises funds to benefit the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay and the Healthy Transitions program, which helps teens and young adults like 17-year-old Ryan connect to mental health resources.

Healthy Transitions Care Coordinator, Dan Bramel,  helped Ryan connect to help.

Healthy Transitions Care Coordinator, Dan Bramel,  helped Ryan connect to help.

During that first call, the Crisis Center intervention specialist helped Ryan develop a basic safety plan. Ryan also agreed to speak with Dan, a care coordinator with the Healthy Transitions program. Dan quickly took steps to get to know Ryan, speaking with him many times over several weeks. Ryan let Dan know he had been abused as a child, was being bullied in school, and had a history of self-harm in which he cut himself.

Dan reviewed Ryan’s safety plan. He encouraged Ryan to spend time talking with a friend he could trust, and to make certain he was participating in activities he enjoyed. He also connected Ryan to a partner agency with the Healthy Transitions program. Ryan was soon participating in a support group, and working collaboratively with a social worker who included Ryan’s family and school in his safety planning.

Ryan is doing much better today! He still struggles, but he has stopped harming himself, and is no longer having thoughts of suicide.

Since October, more than 600 young people in Tampa have been referred to the Healthy Transitions program for mental health support. Your participation in the SpeakUp5k helps them to connect to the help they need.

Be sure to register for the October 7th event at http://www.ckgfoundation.org/tampa

Specialists answering calls at the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay

Specialists answering calls at the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay

Samantha Mier