Spread the Word!
When people come to the Crisis Center for the first time, common responses are "I never knew this place existed" or "This is Tampa's best kept secret". Despite many public service announcements, bill boards, media appearances and the use of social networking it is extremely hard to get the word out to people who may need the Crisis Center's services. Think about it. If you see a billboard or hear a PSA and are not in crisis you're not nearly as likely to absorb the message as some flashy ad for a product or fun event. If you're in a crisis and are struggling to get through it, you're very likely not going to remember that Crisis Center ad you saw or heard a while ago. Fortunately, as one survivor testified at the most recent Cup of Compassion some did remember, called the crisis center and got the help, hope and healing they needed.
In recent years the Crisis Center has added services such as the trauma response teams and the Florida Veterans Support Line
which are highlighted in this issue and expanded its efforts in community activities such as Take Back the Night
and multiple community task forces (e.g. human trafficking) which address important needs in the community. But all of these efforts alone cannot get the word out to the majority of residents in Tampa Bay.
So what can you do to help? The truth is the most effective way to get the word out is for people to hear about it from someone they know. If everyone reading this newsletter made a conscious effort to get the word out about the Crisis Center we could make a big dent in creating awareness. It is particularly important to correct the impression that the Crisis Center is only for people who don't have insurance or can't afford to pay, and for those who are less fortunate. The community needs to know that the Crisis Center provides high-quality, state of the art services and meets the toughest accreditation standards for each of its services. Let's remember that misfortune strikes everyone regardless of race, class, or income level. And when crisis strikes, perhaps the most important resource for getting through the crisis is having a safe place to call to get expert and compassionate help in obtaining both emotional support and information pertaining to all of the services which are needed.
We particularly need your help in informing people about the Crisis Center who regularly encounter people who can benefit from the help we provide. Doctors, Clergy (and lay leaders), neighborhood activists, barbers hairdressers, and bartenders are all people who consistently hear about their customer or client's personal problems. I am sure there have been many times when they wished they knew where they could send someone. So next time you go to the doctor, dentist, a religious event, a block party, get your haircut or have a drink ask them if they have heard about the Crisis Center. If not, tell them about it and how it could be an invaluable resource for them in helping their customers. Invite them for a tour. Ask them if they would like more information and/or are willing to have brochures or cards available in their business for people to read. Then pass along these contacts to the Crisis Center who can then send them material and do further outreach. Together, we can unlock the best kept secret in Tampa Bay.