Dedicant's Work

Study Program











Pagan Student Association

CafePress Shop

The Magical Druid


Continuing Education Coursework

Crisis Response

Due to budget cuts, grass-roots response to needs, and other factors, community resources for persons in crisis often appear, change, relocate, or disappear. This course is designed to help you keep the list of resources you created as an ADF Priest up-to-date by re-evaluating the information at least once every three years.

It is recommended that ADF Priests check this information yearly, if possible, but the course only needs to be submitted on the normal once-per-three-years schedule

  1. Revisit and re-describe several suicide warning signs, as well as resources you can direct a person exhibiting these signs to, and the process for doing so.

    Over the past year, I have had to work with these signs very directly, and have become very alert to them as a result of having a close friend of mine attempt suicide on four occasions (as of this writing). The signs are now very familiar to me. In my original essay, I wrote about five specific signs:
    1. Talking about death or suicide
    2. Change in personality or behavior
    3. Recent loss
    4. Lack of hope for the future
    5. "Death wish" risk-taking
    Many of these are still relevant, but what I have learned is that there are more common signs associated with depression, and I'd like to focus on those this time around:

    1. Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun

      It isn't just something as obvious as searching for/buying a gun, but it can also be a process of finding opportunities for suicide: a pocket knife, box cutter, or even an exposed support beam in a house that can have a noose tied to it can present an opportunity. Understanding how people interact with simple objects (and removing them if possible) is a key part of helping someone cope with these thoughts.

    2. Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.

      Emotional pain can lead to a desire to experience physical pain, which can escalate to a suicide attempt. Early warning signs on this include cutting and scars as well as the verbalization of the pain.
    3. Talking about being a burden to others.

      Especially with depression or other mental illness, it can seem like the person feels they are intruding on your life simply by being around you.

    4. Withdrawing or isolating themselves.

      Again, key with depression, the act of not coming out, or indicating illness as an excuse to not visit, or clutter in their house as being "too messy" for you to come and visit them can be clear signs that they are starting to cut themselves off.

    5. Sleeping too little or too much.

      This is a common issue with stress, so alone it can be an easy one to ignore, but very strange sleep patterns can often be a first sign of trouble.

    Not much has changed from my original response regarding how to respond to this sort of thing, though I have learned one key new thing: there is a point where you must understand that you have done all you can to help, and if they succeed, it is not your fault. Especially when working closely with a person through multiple attempts, it is easy to feel that you didn't try hard enough, or if you had only gone over that one time last week, things might be different. Understand that suicide can cause a domino effect and make you feel like you have broken, too.

    As for an initial response: the first thing to do is to take the warning signs seriously. I would most likely try and sit down with them in a quiet, private place (if it were a Grove member, I might ask them to meet me at the library we hold our meetings at early and schedule one of their free conference rooms for privacy and access to resources) and ask them about the signs I’ve seen by being direct but gentle in asking about suicide. If they are considering it, or if it seems like they are, I would refer them directly to one of our local resources, as well as ask them to add one of the hotlines to their phone. I would offer to listen to any issues that they have, but be clear about my role as a listener, rather than a counselor, and I would make it clear that while I am always willing to be there for a person if I am able, they should contact one of the resources before they contact me if things do not improve or become worse. I would also be clear that my approaching them about this is not a judgment of their character, nor would it affect their work in the Grove. I would then follow up later to see if they have been improving and try and keep that contact regular.

    Here at OSU, the mental health facility no longer takes direct enrollment, but you are now required to enroll either through an outpatient program or through the OSU Emergency Room.

  2. Re-examine your list of resources for available crisis services. Re-submit your complete list from the last version of this course (or your original Crisis Response submission if this is the first time you are taking Crisis Response Continuing Education) with updated information for each resource.

    The local hotline to obtain emergency services such as these is 2-1-1, Franklin County’s First Link Directory. They put out a print publication, and are also available online at (this has updated since my last listing). This list can only be partial and cannot include all services offered because of the diversity of services required and offered by Franklin County (the print book has over 200 pages of resources, but as of July 1, 2013, the directory became free to the public!)

    Suicide Thoughts/Support

    Name: North Central Mental Health Services
    Contact: (614) 221-5445 (24 hr crisis line)
    Referral: (614) 221-5445 (24 hr crisis line)
    Hours: Crisis line is 24-hours
    Services: Provides a 24-hour crisis line, as well as support groups (see “other notes” below)

    Other notes:

    Survivors of Suicide Support Group
    614 395-0727
    Last Sunday of each month 7 pm-8:30 pm.
    1301 North High Street
    Main Building
    Columbus, OH 43201

    mental illness

    Name: Columbus Area Inc.
    Contact: (614) 252-0711
    Referral: (614) 252-0711
    Hours: 8:30 AM – 5 PM
    Services: support and psychiatric services for adults in varying intensity (from support groups to residential care); individual, family and group counseling; case management; outpatient services.

    Other notes: Works with a variety of mental health issues, including chronic ones, most services being at their Columbus Area Inc. location:

    Columbus Area, Inc., Pathway Clubhouse
    1203 East Broad St.
    Columbus, OH 43205
    Phone: (614)252-0711

    substance abuse (addiction)

    Name: North Community Counseling Centers
    Contact: (614) 846-2588 ext. 2223
    Referral: (614) 846-2588 ext. 2223
    Hours: 8:30 AM – 5 PM (some evenings)
    Services: individual and group counseling for substance abuse, as well as informational/educational information on substance abuse and addiction.

    Other notes: Evening hours available by appointment, first point of contact is via phone. North and west side branches are at (614) 261-3196

    North Community Counseling Centers
    Bridge Site
    4897 Karl Rd.
    Columbus, OH 43229

    financial issues

    Name: Columbus Leads
    Contact: (866) 747-1038
    Referral: (866) 747-1038
    Hours: 8 AM – 4 PM most days (see below)
    Services: heating bill assistance, discounts, weatherization. Provides emergency payment of up to $175/household/year for utility assistance (particularly heating, though other assistance is available)

    Other notes: 24-hour appointment line at (866) 747-1038. Services primarily based on poverty (150% of poverty line or below), but assistance for others is available based on income and source of utility. Aids in budgeting with "Percentage of Income Payment Plan" (PIPP) for gas and electric. Provides materials for weatherization and insulation.

    All sites use (614) 252-2799 as contact during regular business hours, except weatherization: that site uses (614) 258-8702.

    homelessness (lack of shelter, food, clothing, other basic needs)

    Name: Homeless Families Foundation
    Contact: 651 West Broad Street, 43215, (614) 253-3910
    Referral: For immediate shelter, call the YWCA Family Center at 253-7970
    Hours: 24 hours Mon-Sun Family intake line
    Services: Provides individual furnished apartment units for up to 3 months for homeless families with minor children. Must be willing to live drug free and participate in agency self-improvement programs.

    Other notes: This is a YWCA program for families

    suspected abuse of the individual’s child(ren)

    Name: Franklin County Children Services
    Contact: (614)229-7100
    Referral: (614)229-7100
    Hours: 24 hours
    Services: investigations of child abuse, neglect, or exploitation within families, child care facilities, schools, group homes, etc.

    Other notes: (614)229-7100 is the intake office number, and is available 24-7 for intake and investigation.

    criminal victimization (victims of theft, sexual assault, domestic violence)

    Name: Affirmations: A Center for Psychotherapy and Growth
    Contact: (614) 445-8277
    Referral: (614) 445-8277
    Hours: 9 AM – 10 PM Mon-Thurs; 9 AM – 6 PM Fri; 9 AM – 3 PM Sat.
    Services: Serves sexual abuse/sexual assault survivors, PTSD, domestic violence, and a variety of other survivors.

    Other notes:; provides a wide variety of counseling resources (and would also work for Grief (below)

    grief (resulting from death, terminal illness, divorce or other loss)

    Name: Directions Counseling Group
    Contact: (614) 888-9200
    Referral: (614) 888-9200
    Hours: 9 AM – 7 PM Mon – Fri
    Services: group, family, and individual counseling for grief sharing, bereavement, postabortion, PTSD, depression, etc.

    Other notes: offers "spiritual well-being" counseling, but notes that this is "Christian-based." Other counseling is not religiously based.

    Directions Counseling Group
    6797 N. High Street, Suite 350
    Columbus, OH 43085

    Works Cited

    • Franklin County First Link Directory. 2006 edition. Columbus, OH : Firstlink. 2006 ISBN 097151464X

Return to the Continuing Education Pages


Content © 2003-2014, Michael J Dangler
Updated on 08/31/2014. Site Credits / Email Me!
Basic site design from
(Yes, I stole it!)