Your helpline is a trusted source of listening support, and even if you don’t advertise your service as specializing in topics of intimate partner violence or sexual violence, there’s a good chance many of the people that reach you are at risk.
Join us for a free webinar to learn more about using the Spousal Assault Risk Assessment (SARA) tool to help assess one’s risk, explore ways to reduce that risk, and provide assistance to your clients.
When: Wednesday January 18, 2017
Time: 1pm EDT
You Will Learn:
- About different types of risk assessments
- The goals of using the SARA risk assessment
- The differences between Dynamic and Static Risk Factors
- What information should be available to complete an assessment
- Ideas for implementing use of this tool at your helpline
- And more!
Presenter: Dustin MacDonald is a Registered Social Service Worker (RSSW) who has been involved with helplines including Distress Centre Durham for the previous 5 years, as well as performing quality assurance, producing analytics and forecasting for the Ontario Online & Text Crisis Services program of Distress and Crisis Ontario. He brings to these roles an understanding of statistics and experience performing a variety of program evaluations and assessments. We’re very pleased to welcome him as our presenter.
We hope you can join us for this webinar!
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently announced several funding opportunities as well as new data available for review.
SAMHSA to award nearly $1 billion in new grants to address the nation’s opioid crisis
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) today announced the availability of new funding to combat the prescription opioid and heroin crisis. The funds, made available through the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants, will provide up to $970 million to states and territories over the next … Read More
SAMHSA released a number of new data files to its archives including:
2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) Public-Use Files
2012 National Mental Health Services Survey (N-MHSS)
2014 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS)
and more all available here
The Frank Capra Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” tops many lists for holiday viewing, and it’s already making the rounds on TV channels everywhere (check your local listings!). But have you ever stopped and thought about how this popular and enduring holiday program centers around the topic of one man’s suicide plan? Most people view the film casually and for them the suicide aspect of the story may take a backseat to the other major themes. For anyone working in the suicide prevention or crisis industry though, it’s hard not to view the film from that unique perspective.
13 thoughts of crisis workers when watching “It’s a Wonderful Life”
- It bothers you that the movie perpetuates the myth that suicide rates go up at Christmastime
- You’re envious of the detailed and factual background Clarence has on George, and think of how helpful this would be when working with your clients
- You know of a dozen people you’ve spoken to this month who are in way worse circumstances than George, but knowing how complex and unique suicide can be for each person you’d never judge George for feeling how he does
- You can list all the warning signs that George is giving, and yell at the other characters for not picking up on them
- Even better, you wish someone would talk to George about his behavior and ask him directly if he was thinking of suicide
- You cheer on Mary when she calls a family member to talk about how George was behaving, and doesn’t keep his behavior a secret. Mary – 1 Stigma and Shame – 0
- George’s story reminds you of all the people you’ve spoken to that thought their suicide would be what’s best for their family
- You note the high lethality of George’s plan for suicide
- And think of how more bridges need suicide barriers for this very reason
- It angers you when Clarence tells George he “shouldn’t say such things” when George discusses suicide, effectively shutting him down and judging him rather than listening to why he feels this way.
- You’re relieved when George finds his reasons for living
- You’re thankful for the happy ending, but you know that it’s rarely wrapped up so easily
- You’re reminded of why you do the work you do
Have you had any of these thoughts while watching this classic film? Got any other thoughts to add? We’d love to hear from you, leave us a comment!
And while you may not have wings, we know the countless individuals touched by your caring voices consider you all guardian angels. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to saving lives, during the holidays and all year ’round.
We’re getting ever so close to releasing the powerful enhancements to your Call Report Forms and Live Chat and Texting features in iCarol. Take a few minutes to watch our new video!
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is currently seeking a Bilingual Helpline Social Worker/Addiction Specialist.
Below are the details about the position responsibilities and qualifications. Should you want more information about this opportunity, or if you’d like to apply, please reach out directly to Partnership for Drug-Free kids at the email listed below.
Helpline Social Worker/Addiction Specialist – Bilingual
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids helps families impacted by adolescent substance abuse and addiction. We are seeking a bilingual (English/Spanish) individual with a master’s degree in social work or a related field, and a background in addiction treatment for a grant-funded long term consulting assignment (approximately 3-4 months in length). This consulting role is an integral part of our Parent Support Network, with primarily responsibility for handling our toll-free telephone Helpline for parents and caregivers of kids involved with drugs and alcohol.
In addition to the Helpline, the Parent Support Network is composed of extensive, science-based resources for parents and families at www.drugfree.org and a new system of peer-to-peer parent coaching, which pairs trained parents who have experienced a child’s substance use disorder with parents whose kids are struggling now. The Parent Support Network relies heavily on the principles of Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT), which has been shown to be effective in helping the family members of someone involved with substance use in ways that produce positive outcomes for the person using, and for the family as well.
This consulting role will focus on the Helpline, answering the phones, documenting all call reports within the iCarol data collection/reporting system and directing families to services within their communities as well as Partnership if and when appropriate.
- Answer and document all helpline calls. We are seeking an individual to work a part-time (30 hours per week) evening and weekend schedule – onsite or from home – but can be flexible and consider a variety of schedule options in terms of the number of days per week, hours available, etc.
- Support parents / caregivers by: providing science-based information about teen substance use; helping parents understand their child’s problem and make a plan to address it; employing CRAFT principles of listening, communication and support; directing to appropriate services / resources as necessary
- Collect and record caller data, and handling after call follow-up
- Refer where appropriate to the Network’s parent coaching system
- Contribute clinical expertise to other members of the Partnership team as needed
- Respond to e-mails and electronic messages from Parents and Caregivers
- Master’s degree in counseling, social work, human services, or any closely related field — and a background in addiction treatment (substance abuse assessment and counseling)
- Ability to speak, read and write in English and Spanish
- Has experience in crisis intervention and aware of best practices in assessing for suicidality, homicidality as well as child neglect and abuse
- 2 years minimum of direct clinical or telephone helpline experience
- Prior experience in the substance abuse field
- Strong interpersonal communication skills with the ability to convey empathy and understanding to those in need
- Cultural awareness, sensitivity and counseling competency
- Strong organizational skills
Additional Preferred Assets:
- Knowledge of iCarol reporting system
- Knowledge of CRAFT, familial interventions and/or motivational interviewing for substance use disorders.
- Familial/adolescent counseling experience a major plus
- Strong writing skills for answering emails, blog posts and parent follow-up.
- Crisis intervention/helpline/hotline/telephonic care experience
How to Apply:
The Partnership values diversity in our workforce and encourages candidates of diverse backgrounds to apply. Please send your resume, cover letter and salary history to firstname.lastname@example.org No phone calls, please.
Do you want to write more compelling reports for funders and investors? One way to do that is to turn intangible outcomes into measurable financial quantities so they can learn what kind of return they can expect to get for their investment.
To learn more on this topic, you’re invited to attend an upcoming free webinar, “Introduction to Calculating Social Return on Investment” on November 15th at 1pm EDT.
We’re delighted to welcome Dustin MacDonald as our presenter. Dustin is a Registered Social Service Worker (RSSW) who has been involved with helplines including Distress Centre Durham for the previous 5 years, as well as performing quality assurance, producing analytics and forecasting for the Ontario Online & Text Crisis Services program of Distress and Crisis Ontario. He brings to these roles an understanding of statistics and experience performing a variety of program evaluations and assessments.
Space is limited — register today!
I had a great time attending the screening for The Listeners hosted by Crisis Intervention Center. I got to see several of my former coworkers and it was so nice to catch up with them and then see such a great film. Audience members for the special screening included current and former volunteers for CIC, as well as board members, and students of an LSU Crisis Intervention Class.
The audience of current and former volunteers for CIC, board members, and students excited to screen the film
Based on my experience working at the Crisis Intervention Center (formerly Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center), “The Listeners” is an accurate portrayal of the effort it takes to screen, train, and support volunteer crisis workers. Those in this business of telephone based crisis intervention know all too well the initial anxiety a crisis worker feels during their first shift, and “The Listeners” does a good job of capturing that feeling on film. As the film progresses though, it becomes clear that as a crisis worker learns to cope with that anxiety, they begin to realize that they are in fact making a difference in the lives of the people they speak with. Certainly not all calls that come into a crisis center are about suicide, and “The Listeners” demonstrates well that some callers just need a caring and empathetic person with whom they can unload all of their current thoughts and emotions onto.
Aaron Blackledge, Executive Director of CIC, welcomes audience to special screening of The Listeners
In the film, they explored funding issues that crisis centers across the country are faced with, which in my opinion, highlighted the need for crisis centers to use their data to make their case for funding. Specifically, it is important for crisis centers to make requests for financial contributions by using data to demonstrate their community’s return on investment in their crisis services. Simply put – a crisis center must use data to express their ability to save the community money by averting unnecessary Emergency Department admissions through their de-escalation techniques (SAMHSA, 2014). In my own experience, without the use of iCarol, it would have been nearly impossible to calculate the number of times crisis workers did and did not send at-risk callers to the emergency room. However, because the Crisis Intervention Center uses iCarol to document all calls, chats, and texts, reporting on this data each month was quick, easy, and accurate and provided community leaders with information regarding the cost-benefit of crisis services.
I definitely encourage those in the nonprofit helpline field to see “The Listeners” because it gives a very real, very raw look at the challenges and successes crisis workers and crisis centers of all kinds face on a daily basis. I’m truly grateful for crisis workers that take calls, chats, and texts from people in need of help. While their work may be anonymous and confidential, the results of their work is felt in the individuals, families, and communities that benefit every day from these vital services.
Wendy Bookman (CIC), Christa Knox (iCarol), & Rick Jackson (CIC)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Crisis Services: Effectiveness, Cost-effectiveness, and Funding Strategies. HHS Publication No. (SMA)-14-4848. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014.
More about The Listeners:
Watch the trailer
Host a screening (it’s easy!) in a theater or college campus or community center near you.
We’ve been made aware of the following information that will likely be of interest to helplines across the US, and wanted to pass this information along to you:
You are invited to join a conference call on Thursday, October 27th at 4:30 PM ET with President Barack Obama and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell to discuss the upcoming open enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act. We encourage you to circulate this invitation to all of your members, volunteers, and partners who will engage in enrollment efforts during the open enrollment period from November 1st to January 31st.
Date: Thursday, October 27th
Time: 4:30 PM ET, please join 5-7 minutes early to avoid connection delays
RSVP: To receive the dial-in information, click HERE. Once you RSVP, a dial-in, participant code, and individual pin will be provided via e-mail.
This call is off the record and not for press purposes. We look forward to speaking with you on Thursday.
Champion for Coverage | Champion@cms.hhs.gov | Centers for Medicare and Medicaid | 200 Independence Ave. SW | Washington, DC 20201
Next week Polly and Eliisa will be in Phoenix to participate in the NASCOD/CUSA conference.
This annual conference is special to us — it was one of the very first events that we started attending back many years ago when iCarol was first created and available as a software system for helplines. Many of the crisis centers that make up the NASCOD and CUSA groups were some of our first users and so this conference and this group of people holds a special place in our hearts.
If your center isn’t already accredited by CONTACT USA, or if you aren’t already a NASCOD member, we encourage you to consider both for your helpline.
CONTACT USA provides one of the most well known and respected crisis center accreditations in the industry. When you are accredited by CONTACT USA it shows your funders that they are contributing to a worthwhile and effective program, and also connects you to a national and international community of those who provide emotional support and crisis intervention all over the world. Further, your community will be assured that your organization provides the highest quality of service. To find out more about this accreditation, you can visit their website.
NASCOD membership is a great resource for Executive Directors or Program Managers of crisis centers. The group provides regular peer support calls on a number of different helpful topics, and group members are regularly networking, discussing challenges, sharing ideas, and generally supporting one another. Many NASCOD members are also iCarol clients and we really enjoy our relationship with the group and its members, iCarol users and non-users alike.
So if you’ll be one of the many people in Phoenix later this week, please stop by our booth and say hi! If you use iCarol at your helpline then we’d certainly love to get to visit face to face. If you’re not a current user, we’d be grateful for the opportunity to tell you about iCarol Helpline Software and how it’s used by helplines all over the world, many of whom will be represented at this conference. Hope to see you there!
Last week we shared information with you about “The Listeners,” a new documentary film that goes inside the work of suicide prevention helplines and the listeners who work there.
My hometown is one of the locations hosting a screening in the coming weeks, and my local paper published this article about the upcoming screening, the film itself, and the work of the local helpline (where I used to work!) which is a program of the Mental Health Association of Frederick County in Maryland. In fact, this showing is at capacity, having sold out all available tickets.
The article provides information about the services of the helpline in Frederick, Maryland and highlights the tough but valuable work they do. The publication also interviewed Robert Hurst, the director of the film, and he shares his thoughts on the work of the service where he filmed the documentary. He even participated in the volunteer training so he could get a first-hand feeling of what the volunteers go through, and he shares his feelings and experiences on that process.
A final thing to note about the newspaper article is that the author identifies herself as a suicide attempt survivor with lived experience, and shares her thoughts and comments on helpline services. She had valuable insight to provide that is not only interesting and adds a unique and important perspective to the topic, but may be worth sharing with the listeners at your own helpline.
The screening and local media attend around will undoubtedly lead to increased awareness of the hotline’s services, and integrated fundraising both at the screening and online associated with it, will likely lead to a donation boost as well. I’m excited to attend our local screening of “The Listeners” tomorrow and I’ll be sure to share my thoughts after.
UPDATE: The film was awesome and very well-received by the sold out audience of community supporters, mental health advocates, and helpline staff and volunteers. I can’t wait to share my thoughts — stay tuned!