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Features

Joliet Firefighters Peer Support Group honors crisis hotline

The Joliet Firefighters Peer Support Group presented the plaque to The Upper Room Crisis Hotline on Sept. 12, Smith said in an email.
The Joliet Firefighters Peer Support Group presented the plaque to The Upper Room Crisis Hotline on Sept. 12, Smith said in an email.

On Tuesday, Terry Smith shared a plaque with the board members of The Upper Room Crisis Hotline during a Zoom meeting.

The Joliet Firefighters Peer Support Group presented the plaque to The Upper Room Crisis Hotline on Sept. 12, Smith said in an email.

According to its website at jfdpeersupport.com, The Joliet Firefighters Peer Support Group was founded to provide support to firefighters and their families.

The peer support group, founded in 2019, has volunteers people may contact about issues regarding jobs, family, addiction and more, as well as professional counselors and suicide specialists “ready to help,” according to the website.

“The Joliet Firefighters Peer Support Group and The Upper Room Crisis Hotline work collaboratively to serve those individuals that are in need of support,” Smith said in an email. “We appreciate the recognition and the fine ongoing service that The Joliet Firefighters Peer Group provides to our dedicated first responders and their families.”

Brother Ed Arambasich serves as chaplain for the Joliet firefighters and serves on the board of directors for The Upper Room Crisis Hotline, Smith said.

Sister Mary Frances Seeley is founder, board president and special adviser to the Upper Room Crisis Hotline.

She is the founder of the Will County Crisis Hotline and Upper Room Catholic Hotline and has more than 50 years of hotline experience and consulting.

Seeley, an internationally recognized expert in suicide prevention and the psychology of helping suicidal and desperate callers, created a 69-hour training program designed to prepare volunteers to handle every kind of call.

“I was very impressed with the depth of Sister’s program,” Smith said in a news release in 2019. “She somehow managed to convert psychological and Christian principles into simple real-world issues that volunteers could effectively use to help people.”

Founded by Seeley in 2008, the Upper Room Crisis Hotline has become an international service helping callers from Africa, Europe, Canada, South America and the United States.

“The Upper Room Crisis Hotline is a place where people can find support, prayer, reflection and guidance,” Seeley said in a 2019 news release. “It is a place they can experience the love of Christ.”

The Upper Room Crisis Hotline named Terry Smith as its new executive director in 2019.

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