Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins, two of the stars of Supernatural, have teamed up to launch a crisis hotline.
This is hardly the first time members of the Supernatural cast have worked to help fans. Jared Padalecki began with a t-shirt for a movement he called #AlwaysKeepFighting. That expanded when Jensen Ackles joined him and the pair released a few additional t-shirts.
The newest campaign is called “You Are Not Alone”. The funds raised will go towards creating the SPNFamily Crisis Support Network, which will work to benefit IMAlive and To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA).
“You may have noticed that we have launched a T-shit/sweatshirt/swag campaign…and that is going to support a new program we are launching where we will train fans to man essentially an online crisis hotline so that people who are having a hard time, who are at a crisis point in their lives, can call in and there’s this awesome supportive network that’s waiting there ready to help and support them,” Collins explained during a Facebook chat. “Random Acts is Partnering with IMAlive and To Write Love On Her Arms. IMAlive is basically this first line of defense and they’re helping us to put together this crisis hotline. To Write Love On Her Arms is going to help us find resources for those people who do call in, in their local areas so that they can get the help that they really need.”
“We have psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, and so far, about 1,500 people have volunteered to help man the hotlines,” Collins says, noting that part of the network is fans being trained to help fans, but that’s only after each person who volunteers is thoroughly vetted and trained.
Random Acts is an organization founded by Misha Collins, and known for its annual Melee of Kindness, Endure4Kindness. It is associated with GISHWHES, which works to build schools in Haiti and Nicaragua.
TWLOHA previously partnered with Jared Padalecki on his “Always Keep Fighting” campaign.
“We have this interesting exposure to our fandom in the form of conventions, where we go and we meet fans face-to-face pretty much every other weekend,” Collins says. “And we have occasion to meet thousands and thousands of Supernatural fans and at every event, every one of us encounters as many as a dozen people who share really heart-rending stories about self-harm or addiction or depression or suicide attempts. We see a lot of people with tattoos of semicolons on themselves — the semicolon is where the author could’ve chosen to end a sentence but instead chose to carry it on so it’s a very potent symbol for somebody who’s struggled with near-death situations and forged on.”
“For whatever reason, it seems to be something that is prevalent, or at least bubbles to the surface in our fandom,” Collins continued. “It’s just something that seems to be affecting a lot of people. I think one of the big problems that people face when they’re struggling with these things is not knowing where to turn. But if you are part of a community and you know that that community is offering help in a certain way and it’s something that you know is there, I think it might be really helpful. Anyway, that’s what me and Jared and Jensen thought.”
“You’ll see how he’s [Padalecki] a part of it in a couple of days, I believe,” Ackles said. “It’s all for the same beautiful thing, and that’s what the Supernatural family and the fandom is.”
Straight from the web site:
A portion of all proceeds goes to The SPNFamily Crisis Support Network
Orders ship 2 weeks after this campaign ends (3rd week of March)
T’s 100% cotton / Hoodie & Sweatshirt 50% cotton 50% polyester / Cinch Bag 50% cotton 50% polyester / Machine Wash / Imported
Design Fan Artist: Khristina Helmich / Photo Banner credit: Monica Duff
Check out the project’s official site here.
If you have questions or want to learn more about becoming a crisis support volunteer, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jensen Ackles plays Dean Winchester and Misha Collins plays Castiel on Supernatural.
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