Eleanor Letcher Executive Director

Eleanor Letcher

Executive Director

Eleanor Letcher, long time Executive Director of CONTACT of Mercer County, NJ, graduated from Douglass College, Rutgers University and has a Master’s in Education from The College of New Jersey.    

In her many years at CONTACT she has seen huge changes in the way that Mental Illness and Suicide Prevention services are offered. In the past there was major stigma surrounding Mental Illness to the point that people typically didn’t disclose any reference to personal or familial Mental Health challenges. Fortunately, the major stigma has lessened although stigma still exists in the minds of many people. Stigma can and does prevent people from seeking services. 

In the early days of CONTACT’s Hotlines in 1970’s and 1980’s, suicide was rarely discussed by callers.  There were very few mentions of suicide in the media as compared to today.  Now, across media, Suicide and Mental Illness are prevalent topics, headlines in newspapers and major topics in online media and television.   

As the awareness of Mental Illness and Suicide has grown in the population, the world has been stricken by Covid and lockdowns and restrictions.  More people have been affected by loneliness, isolation, depression and mental illness as well as thoughts of suicide.  People need to reach out. Talking helps when there is someone who listens and cares.  CONTACT provides that help to many via active listening and emotional support, and in rare cases, active intervention is started when a person is in imminent risk of suicide.  

The introduction of 988 nationally in July, 2022, brought increased awareness as well as funding to Hotlines across the US.  CONTACT’s range of Hotlines includes phone, text and chat.  CONTACT of Mercer County, NJ provides person to person response to 988 Calls, Chats, Texts.  This is a service that will grow as the need continues to increase.  

Eleanor Letcher has lead CONTACT through these many challenges and foresees future changes in CONTACT’s provision of care, including increased services and support to those who use CONTACT’s Hotlines and Reassurance programs. 

There is Hope for the future! 

Eleanor Letcher Executive Director

Tony Ciavolella

Assistant Executive Director

Tony Ciavolella began volunteering for CONTACT in 2019, to give back in a way that helped address the unfortunate stigma associated with mental illness and suicide that is so pervasive throughout the country. He became a volunteer hotline and chat and text counselor before joining the CONTACT Board of Directors as an associate member, followed by his selection as the organization’s Vice President in 2021.

In March 2022, Tony helped CONTACT launch CONTACT Chat & Text, one of several dozen chat and text overflow centers for the national 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, serving as Program Director. In the fall of that year, he helped CONTACT begin New Jersey 988 Chat & Text, the state’s only chat and text operation. In addition to overseeing CONTACT’s two chat and text programs, Tony helps manage day-to-day operations, which include sustaining, promoting, and growing various suicide prevention and crisis programs and services.

Tony previously worked for the State of New Jersey and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey in the areas of public affairs and communications. Prior to that, he was a broadcast journalist working at the network and local TV news levels as a producer, bureau chief, assignment manager, and even a photographer.

Tony is trained and certified to provide Mental Health First Aid for people experiencing a crisis, including depression, anxiety disorders, psychosis, and substance use disorders by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. Tony is a graduate of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

Board of Directors

Executive Board

Executive Board

Michael Cilino


James Tringali

Vice President

Fern Slom


Michael Sabo


Additional Board Members

Additional Board Members

Jose Catedra Romeral

James Cryan

Dawn Darrah

Robert Hedden

Jo-Ann Hoffman

Maxim Losi

Michael Rovder

Jeffrey Siegler

Patricia Thayer

Anthony Verrelli