Logo: Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service

About SPCS

Mission     Meet the Staff       Board        History      Contact


The mission of Suicide Prevention & Crisis Service is to promote   
constructive responses to crisis and trauma and to prevent violence -to self and others - through direct support and community education.

 Meet the Staff 

Micaela Corazón, Crisisline Director
Micaela received her undergraduate degree from California State University. Having worked in the field of HIV/AIDS Education and Advocacy for seventeen years in California, she moved to Ithaca in 2000 with her life partner. Before coming to SPCS, she was the Regional Director for AIDS WORK and then the Program Director for Community Dispute Resolution Center. For several years, Micaela was a volunteer at SPCS.  She is currently working on a book of short stories about her 22 years in San Francisco. 

Lee-Ellen Marvin, Executive Director and Director of Education and Interactive Arts           
Lee-Ellen Marvin has worked in the nonprofit and academic sector for many years as an educator and arts administrator. As professional storyteller, she tells stories that reflect her interest in self-knowledge and community life to children, teens and adults. Her dissertation for a Ph.D. in Folklore and Folklife (University of Pennsylvania, 2003) explored narratives of immigration and identity in the South Asian-American community in Philadelphia.

Sheila McCue, LMSW
Director of After-Trauma Services
Sheila McCue, LMSW, born and raised in Pittsburgh , PA , , was introduced to the Social Justice movement through work with the United Farm Workers of America, leading to a 20 year career in community organizing.  Moving to Ithaca with her family in 1991, Sheila worked as Program Coordinator with the Southside Community Center and Volunteer Coordinator for several years at Hospicare.  Receiving her MSW in 2000, Sheila has worked as a psychotherapist for 13 years, currently in private practice alongside of her work with Suicide Prevention. 

Charisse Oates, Administrative Coordinator
Charisse Oates grew up in Texas and lived in Altanta, Georgia for several years before coming to Ithaca and her first non-profit position. She's enduring her first full winter in the Finger Lakes. She joined SPCS in the late fall of 2010 with several years of experience in business management working in large and small businesses.

Michael Alvich, Crisisline Coordinator
Michael Alvich is a long time resident of the greater Ithaca area community who has worked professionally in several nonprofit organizations throughout the region. He relocated from the shores of New Jersey to Tompkins County in 1975 where he attended TC3 to obtain his AS degree in Social Sciences. Most recently returning to college to compete a degree in Applied Sciences; working now to obtain his NYS CASAC license to work with individuals with addiction behaviors. His professional experience extends from working with youth in community-based residences and institutional settings. He has experience working with people diagnosed with psychiatric and /or developmental disabilities as well as aging adults suffering from dementia and with adults in addiction recovery. Michael enjoys volunteering for the annual STAP Aids Ride, and Share Our Strength/ Taste of the Nations fundraiser. Michael is also a alumni member with Leadership Tompkins (2001).

Scott Heyman,
Administrative Consultant
Scott Heyman has lived in the Ithaca area since 1973. He and his wife Linda have five grown children and seven grandchildren. Scott has served as the Director of Human Rights for Tompkins County , County Administrator , CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Southern Finger Lakes , and most recently Interim Executive Director of Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service. He currently coordinates the Human Services Coalition’s Workshop Series and provides consultation for several area non-profits.

Board of Directors
Current as of September 2013

Keba Rogers, President
Jay Janowsky, Vice-President
Lenny Nissenson, Treasurer
Stephen Peacock, Secretary
David Barmack
Paul Soper

History and Timeline

History: Following a series of suicides in 1968 Ithacans lobbied for a 24 hourcrisis service. Reverend Jack Lewis took the first call in 1969. The caller was a young man who felt so upset that he had decided the only solution was to kill himself. With the help of our first volunteer counselor, the young man renewed his hope and sense of possibility. 387 calls were received that year; in recent years about 6,000 calls are received annually.

1969 387 calls received


407 calls received


1192 calls received


2150 calls received


After-trauma Services begun following suicides, homicides, and other traumas 


2756 calls received


3665 calls received


American Association of Suicidology first certifies SPCS


Adolescent outreach program developed


5000 calls received


First Elegant Party


Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Group begins


SPCS offers emergency outreach services with the county mental health clinic


Resources for bartenders and hairdressers developed


28,000 copies of teen suicide prevention pamphlet sold


Crisis intervention materials in 6 languages are prepared


"A Gentle Ear" pamphlet distributed to elderly 


"Men Are Talking to Us" distributed, calls from males increase to 40% of total 


"You Are Not Alone" pamphlet developed for gay/lesbian youth


First trainings for college resident staff held


Community Role Players becomes a project of SPCS


SPCS celebrates its 25th anniversary 


Talking With The Caller, a new manual by SPCS and Cornell University, is published


SPCS holds the first annual Suicide Survivors’ Day program


SPCS performs Three Long Days, a play about the suicide of a local high school student 


9,000 magnets with the Crisisline number are distributed to vulnerable populations after research shows most crises happen in people’s kitchens 


1,700 individuals receive postvention support after suicides, fires, vehicular deaths, accidents, robberies, traumatic events


SPCS opens the Sidney L. Tamarin Training and Resource Center at 124 E. Court St. (Crisisline remains at confidential address); presents play about school violence in collaboration with the Hangar Theater; First Annual Walk for Violence Prevention; receives Red Cross Award for Exemplary Service  


2000 community members are supported in the aftermath of September 11th and following local suicides, homicides, robberies, fires and other tragedies; Resource Library on Crisis Issues and Violence Prevention is open to the community; Cayuga Community Role Players receive Martin Luther King Peacemaker Award  


3rd Walk for Violence Prevention; Annual Meeting features talks by Drs. Ellen de Lara and James Garbarino. 


The 8th annual Suicide Survivors Day features Dempsey Rice; Annual Meeting features Susan Rose Blauner, author of How I Stayed Alive When my Brain was Trying to Kill Me; Crisisline Counselors receive Tompkins Trust Company Award for Excellence 


Playwright Kenny Berkowitz presents readings fromAshes; Dr. Ricky Greenwald  presents “Youth After Trauma: How Traumatic Events Change Who our Children and Teens Become” at the 35th Annual Meeting 


SPCS joins the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network, answering calls to 1-800-273-TALK from eleven counties in New York State in the 607 area code. The 10th annual Suicide Survivors' Day focuses on "The Lasting Impact of Suicide"; support groups are organized for "Therapists Who Have Experienced the Suicide of a Client" and for "Evacuees of Hurricane Katrina"; writing and topic workshops are begun; the Annual Meeting on crisis, trauma and the expressive arts features local painters, qulters, craftspeople, dancers, musicians, etc.


The SPCS Crisisline has received over 220,000 calls. 


Over 1,000 people have served as counselors. Over 10,000 people have received after trauma services. Over 25,000 participated in SPCS trainings.  


Two staff members of the agency are certified as trainers in LivingWorks' Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training.


SPCS celebrates its fortieth anniversary. The annual meeting features a lecture by Dr. Donald Meichenbaum. Suicide Awareness Week is marked with the opening exhibit of The Empty Chairs: Loss After Suicide, featuring 11 altered chairs made by community members.


The loss of three students at Cornell University reopens a debate about means restrictions on the bridges over Ithaca's steep gorges. SPCS works to support the efforts of Cornell University, calling on a tradition of the agency since its beginning. The agency adds SafeTALK, a suicide awareness workshop, to its educational programs.


The Listening Tent at the Ithaca Festival offers an opportunity to get some emotional support or learn about volunteer opportunities; Annual Meeting features a talk by Jill Bialosky, author of "Historyof a Suicide: My Sister's Unfinished Life."


SPCS educators joins the Suicide Prevention Center of New York State to provide intervention and awareness trainings to educators across the state. Beta-testing of new online chat counseling services begins in the fall.


Contact Us  


Suicide Prevention & Crisis Service
124 E. Court Street Ithaca, NY 14850   
24 Hour Crisisline: (607) 272-1616
Other Services: (607) 272-1505
Fax:(607) 272-1839 
Contributions and correspondence may be sent to:
124 East Court
Street, Ithaca , NY 14850 .

Please note: E-mail is available for scheduling after-trauma & education services, providing volunteer information & addressing business needs. For counseling please call the Crisisline at (607) 272-1616

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