In 1969 this area was deemed a good site in which to begin
research on suicide. Dr. Richard McGee, of the University of Florida
Clinical Psychology Department, administered a grant funded with
federal, local and university money to study the incidence of suicide.
Early on it was noted that not only was this a good research site, but
also a community in need of assistance. Thus, in December 1969, the
Suicide and Crisis Intervention Service (SCIS) was opened.
The Information & Referral Service (I&R) was founded in 1972.
These services merged in 1975 to form the Alachua County Crisis Center.
In 1983, I&R became a separate program under United Way.
The Victim Services & Rape Crisis Programs were added to the Center
in 1979 and 1981 respectively. In October 1982, the Retired &
Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) became conjoined with the Center to form
the Department of Volunteer Services. In 1984, the Victim Services & Rape Crisis Center became a separate program under the Department of Volunteer Services.
Since 1991, the Crisis Center has functioned as an office of the
Department of Community Support Services, which is administered by the
Alachua County Board of County Commissioners. The Center offers most of
its direct services through the use of highly trained volunteers and
graduate students in mental health fields. Five professional staff share
responsibility for administration, supervision, coordination of direct
services to clients, pre-service and in-service training of
approximately 120 volunteers per year as well as community consultation
and education. These staff positions include the Director, a clinical
coordinator, a volunteer coordinator, a training coordinator and a
special projects coordinator.