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October 3-9 is Mental Illness Awareness Week

Each year during the first full week of October, mental health organizations draw attention to mental health conditions through Mental Illness Awareness Week.

Mental illnesses are medical conditions that effect millions of people, however they are still misunderstood and stigmatized, and those living with these conditions still face prejudice that those with other medical conditions don’t experience.

The aim of Mental Illness Awareness Week is to provide public education highlighting the fact that these illnesses are medical conditions and should be treated as such.

For more information on Mental Illness Awareness Week, and to participate with promoting the efforts around public information on mental illness, visit these resources:

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Mental Health America releases 2021 Back to School Toolkit

high school students wearing masks

Returning to school and beginning a new academic year can cause feelings of anxiety and uncertainty in any circumstances, but the impact of COVID-19 makes the event extra stressful on students, parents, and educators alike.

Each year, Mental Health America releases a back to school toolkit aimed at helping people start the new school year right with healthy habits and an awareness of stress and mental health. MHA focuses on the need to prioritize mental health and emotional well-being so that all students can thrive both in and out of the school setting.

The 2021 Toolkit is titled Facing Fears, Supporting Students and contains hands-on materials such as:

  • Fact sheets for parents and teachers
  • Fact sheets for children and teens
  • Key messages and statistics
  • Sample articles and social media posts
  • Worksheets
  • and more!

The 2021 Mental Health America Back to School Toolkit is available now on the Mental Health America website.

Download the Toolkit

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iCarol virtually exhibiting at National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) Conference

n4a conference

iCarol is very proud and excited to be an exhibitor at the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) virtual conference and tradeshow July 19-22.

This will be iCarol’s third year in attendance at n4a, and second year exhibiting virtually. We are excited to once again celebrate the work of Area Agencies on Aging and Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) and continue to be amazed at how these organizations have responded and provided continuity of services amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. Older adults and those with health conditions are particularly vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19, but maintaining social connections and other services under social distance has been critical to these individuals. These organizations have stepped up in amazing ways to provide consistency and reassurance.

At our virtual n4a booth we’ll have information to share about how iCarol empowers ADRCs, AAAs, and Senior Information Lines, and other services for older adults, individuals with disabilities, and their caregivers to:

  • Provide social connection and ease loneliness through Telephone Reassurance Programs
  • Collaborate with Community-Based Organizations to address Social Determinants of Health
  • Participate in Health/Community Information Exchanges and No Wrong Door initiatives
  • Provide comprehensive I&R, Closed-Loop referral and collect outcome data
  • Document information included on reimbursement requests
  • Meet people on preferred communication channels
  • Integrate with other software and systems

If you’re attending the conference, be sure to visit the iCarol virtual booth to learn more, download the resources we have available, and contact us with your questions!

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SAMHSA Awards 988 Dialing Code Administration Grant to Vibrant Emotional Health

On Wednesday, June 16, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced that Vibrant Emotional Health will be the administrators of the new 988 dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the United States. Vibrant, in partnership with SAMHSA, has administered the Lifeline since its creation in 2005. Click here to read SAMHSA’s full statement.

The process of creating the three-digit national number to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has been ongoing for several years. Click here For more information on 988.

The team at iCarol extends our congratulations to Vibrant Emotional Health for being designated as administrators of the 988 dialing code. Through our years working with Vibrant Emotional Health and the many Lifeline Network Centers answering calls to 1-800-273-TALK, we have seen firsthand the passion and professionalism these teams bring to their work addressing the critical public health issues of suicide and mental health. We believe that 988 will improve accessibility and equity for Americans seeking emotional support and assistance. By designating a three-digit number for suicide prevention and mental health crises, our leaders send a clear message that these concerns deserve the same immediate attention and access to assistance as a physical health emergency, while also reducing harmful stigmas that create barriers to treatment. As the leading software provider among the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network of centers, we stand ready to support our customers making the transition to answering 988, and welcome new centers coming on board for the 988 initiative.

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June Support Training: Telephony Integration

Did you know that iCarol can work with many telephony systems to “pop” iCarol Contact Forms onto your volunteer/staff screens when a call rings through to their workstation? These Contact Forms can even be configured to pre-populate fields based on data from the telephony system, such as whether the call may be coming from a recognized caller with a profile, or if the caller pressed certain options into your telephony’s interactive voice response (IVR) or “Phone tree” menu while they waited to get through to a specialist.

If you want to learn more, we hope you’ll join our June Support Training where we’ll share more about iCarol Telephony Integration. We will cover:

  • A live demo of iCarol Telephony Integration in action!
  • What is iCarol Telephony Integration?
  • What additional software is needed to subscribe to iCarol Telephony Integration?
  • What are some use cases for iCarol Telephony Integration?

While we typically hold our Monthly Support Trainings on the third Wednesdays each month, iCarol’s Monthly Support Training in June will take place on the last   Wednesday of the month, June 30th at 2pm Eastern.

We welcome and encourage our customers to attend! You can find the registration link on the Admin Dashboard or in our Help Center announcements.

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iCarol Exhibiting at the National Council on Aging Age+Action Conference

iCarol is excited to exhibit at the National Council on Aging’s (NCOA) Age+Action virtual conference and tradeshow June 7-10.

Since 1950 NCOA has been a vocal advocate for older adults in the United States. Among their accomplishments is ending mandatory retirement, advocating to secure Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, and supporting local organizations as they serve older adults in their communities each day. NCOA provides trusted, unbiased information that enables older adults and their caregivers to take small steps that make big impact on their health and financial security.

We at iCarol share NCOA’s vision of a just and caring society in which each person lives with dignity, purpose, and security as they age. We believe in their mission of improving the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are members of under-served and vulnerable populations. We believe in NCOA’s goal to impact the health and economic security of 40 million older adults by 2030, especially women, people of color, LGBTQ+, low-income, and rural individuals. Like NCOA, iCarol believes that aging well for all is a matter of equity, dignity, and justice.

At the conference, we look forward to connecting with professionals who serve older adults and their caregivers and providing them with information on how iCarol can help them achieve their missions. Our virtual booth will have information about how iCarol empowers ADRCs, AAAs, and Senior Information Lines, and other services for older adults, individuals with disabilities, and their caregivers to:

  • Provide social connection and ease loneliness through Telephone Reassurance Programs
  • Meet people on preferred communication channels
  • Collaborate with Community-Based Organizations to address Social Determinants of Health
  • Participate in Health/Community Information Exchanges and No Wrong Door initiatives
  • Provide comprehensive I&R, Closed-Loop referral and collect outcome data
  • Document information included on reimbursement requests
  • Integrate with other software and systems

If you’re attending the Age + Action conference, be sure to visit the iCarol virtual booth to learn more, download the resources we have available, and contact us with your questions!

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May is Mental Health Month

Much of the focus worldwide in the last year has been the global Coronavirus pandemic, including guidelines from staying healthy and avoiding contracting COVID-19 or passing the disease to others. And while this is obviously a critical topic, it should not be forgotten that our mental health, especially during the pandemic, is important, too.

May is Mental Health Month, and organizations around the world are sharing information about how to obtain and maintain good mental health.

Each year since 1949, Mental Health America and their affiliates have led observance of Mental Health Month. This includes release of an annual Mental Health Month toolkit, which you can download here. They also have a number of resources available on their Mental Health Month web page, this year focusing on Tools 2 Thrive — practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase their resiliency regardless of their personal situation. Topics include:

  • Adapting after trauma and stress
  • Dealing with anger and frustration
  • Getting out of thinking traps
  • Processing big changes
  • Taking time for yourself
  • Radical acceptance

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is focusing on the power of connection and supporting one another, and promoting their core message of eliminating stigma, by sharing the message that those who many be having mental health difficulties or experiencing mental illness are not alone. Mental health conditions affect approximately 1 in 5 individuals during a given year.

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) has a number of articles and resources available in recognition of Canada’s Mental Health Week (May 3-9) which are available here. CMHA calls attention to the fact that, when asked how they are, people and Canadians in particular often respond with, “I’m fine,” even if they are not. CMHA is promoting more social connection and “getting real about how you feel.”

We hope during this Mental Health Month, our blog readers will take the time to engage with these and other mental health leaders to learn more and promote better mental health for all people, especially in light of the daily stressors and crises we all continue to face due to COVID-19.

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iCarol attends the American Association of Suicidology Conference

This Wednesday through Friday, members of our team will attend sessions at the American Association of Suicidology Conference, and we will also host a booth in the virtual exhibit hall.

The conference is a convergence of professionals working across the spectrum of the suicide prevention industry, from those operating crisis centers and other direct care services, to professionals working in academic settings conducting suicide prevention research, and advocates focused on prevention, education and awareness.

So we can continue to stay ahead of the topics that most impact iCarol’s customers, on Wednesday Dana will attend the Crisis Continuum pre-conference program, which concludes with a session on network updates and future directions for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network.

Having supported crisis centers since the earliest days of the Lifeline network, and serving a large portion of the network that are iCarol customers, we have witnessed the Lifeline’s growth year after year, both in the number of participating centers and the volume of contacts the Lifeline receives through calls, chats, and other forms of communication. At this year’s update we’re anticipating the latest news from the 988 transition plan and how that will affect members of the Lifeline network. We’re also closely following the continuing conversations on how communities are changing their practices around responding to mental health emergencies and similar crises, with a shift towards crisis intervention teams and other professionals leading the response as opposed to law enforcement.

These discussions directly inform iCarol’s strategy and product development in the coming months and years, which ensures we will continue to meet the needs of suicide prevention and crisis centers everywhere, providing the tools they need to do their life-saving work.

If you plan to be at the AAS Conference, please stop by our virtual booth to download our new guides and materials, including a brand new ebook on choosing software for crisis intervention and suicide prevention services. We’ll also be available for virtual meetings at your convenience to answer your questions, or have conversations about your challenges or projects and explore how iCarol can be of assistance.

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SAMHSA to hold Grants 101 Webinar for Community-Based Organizations

SAMHSA’s Office of Behavioral Health Equity has announced its Elevate CBOs Webinar Series: Grants 101, a webinar on developing a competitive SAMHSA grant application. The webinar is for community-based organizations (CBOs) serving under-resourced racial and ethnic minority, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQIA) populations. The webinar will:



  • Provide an overview of the grant application process at SAMHSA
  • Clarify what is and is not required in submitting grant applications
  • Include a question and answer session.

Date: Thursday, March 4

Time: 2:00-4:00pm Eastern

You must RSVP by Monday, March 1.

RSVP Now

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February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

When it comes to teens dating, many parents and guardians worry about things like their teen’s emotions or heartbreak, staying out too late, losing focus and falling behind at school, sexual activity, STDs, or teen pregnancy. And while all of those are worthy of concern for a caring parent, many do not stop to consider another big issue facing teens: Teen Dating Violence.

According to information provided by loveisrespect.org, a survey found that 81% of parents believe teen dating violence is not an issue or admit they don’t know if it’s an issue. And though 82% of parents feel confident that they could recognize the signs if their child was experiencing dating abuse, a majority of parents (58%) could not correctly identify all the warning signs of abuse.

This is troubling considering the problem of abusive romantic relationships between teens problem is a prevalent issue.

  • 1 in 3 high school students experience physical or sexual violence, or both, by someone they are dating
  • 10% of adolescents report being the victim of physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner during the previous year
  • Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence — almost triple the national (US) average
  • Among female victims of intimate partner violence, 94% of those age 16-19 and 70% of those age 20-24 were victimized by a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Violent behavior typically begins between the ages of 12 and 18

To learn more about Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, visit:

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