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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 $62.4 million in grants to combat child trauma

logo for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the United States

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is distributing $62.4 million in grant funding to provide and increase access to effective treatment and services systems in communities throughout the nation for children, adolescents, and their families who experience traumatic events. The White House is bolstering these awards with $800,000 in American Rescue Plan (ARP) support.

In 2000, Congress established the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative (NCTSI) as part of the Children’s Health Act. Through this initiative, a collaborative network of experts was created to further the development and dissemination of evidence-based clinical interventions for systems that serve children, adolescents, and families.

SAMHSA’s NCTSI raises awareness about the impact of . . . Learn More.

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Career Opportunity: Family & Children’s Service Nashville Seeks Data Manager

Family & Children’s Service Nashville is looking for a Data Manager to assist with the implementation and maintenance of databases, data collection systems, and strategies that optimize the efficiency and quality of data. In coordination with the Director of Data Analytics, this position helps maintain the data infrastructure to support operations, including reporting and quality assurance. This position will also support a partner nonprofit agency with database administration and reporting.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Create, refine, and generate reports on data and outcomes.
  • Identify and interpret trends or patterns in complex data sets.
  • Provide technical support for end users for databases and data collection systems.
  • Assist in quality assurance reporting by filtering and cleaning data to locate and correct problems.
  • Troubleshoot systems to ensure error-free functionality and end-user satisfaction by conducting research on specific issues related to individual queries or systemic issues.
  • Click here to read full job posting

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Epilepsy Foundation Uses iCarol ReferralQ to Distribute Uber Vouchers

person holding a smartphone with the uber rideshare app open

Today we’re excited to bring you the first in a series of stories on how iCarol customers are using our ReferralQ and Provider Portal products to help people in their communities!

Our first story is about the Epilepsy Foundation<. With a network of partners throughout the United States, the Epilepsy Foundation is leading the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy. Among its many programs is a 24/7 Helpline of AIRS Certified Resource Specialists.

With support from their partners at SK Life Science, the Epilepsy Foundation is using iCarol to help people living with the epilepsies address a big challenge — access to transportation.

Read Their Story

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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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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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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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Responding to a Mental Health Crisis

Around the nation there are conversations happening about public safety as it pertains to emergency response where it involves situations of mental health crisis. Who are the appropriate entities to respond to 911 calls for someone in a mental health crisis?

Legislation has been introduced in New York State, Daniel’s Law, that would establish both state and regional mental health response councils which would permit mental health professionals to respond to mental health and substance abuse emergencies.

This legislation is modeled after a program in Eugene, Oregon, CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets), developed in 1989, that takes an innovative, community-based public safety approach to provide mental health first response for crises involving mental illness, homelessness, and addiction.

We believe 211s and Crisis Lines are an integral part of this conversation.

We are planning to host a conversation on this topic and would like to hear from you regarding what actions your organizations are currently taking and what kind of additional support iCarol could provide to assist you in responding to 911 calls in these situations.

Please email us if you are interested in sharing your ideas or plans related to this topic, or if you are simply interested in participating in these conversations.

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Join us for Bell Let’s Talk Day

Bell Let's Talk

Wednesday January 28th is a big day for Canadian mental health initiatives: It’s Bell Let’s Talk Day!

This annual event draws attention to the topic of mental health, particularly the stigma attached to mental illness that prevents many from seeking help. The idea is that if we all talk more openly about mental health and are open to conversations about it, it will lessen the shame attached to mental illness. Bell also champions access to care, workplace mental health, and research.

On Bell Let’s Talk Day, people are encouraged to take to social media and discuss the topics of mental health and mental illness. Certain social media activities, such as watching the official Bell Let’s Talk video, using their special profile photo frame in Facebook, or using their special Snapchat filter, will help raise funds for organizations that address Bell Let’s Talk’s initiatives. Bell donates 5¢ to mental health initiatives and programs across Canada (including many services that are part of the iCarol family!). Bell customers can also participate by texting or making calls. Find out more about how to take part.

Bell Let’s Talk has had a profound impact across Canada. Since the campaign began in 2011 there have been over 1 billion interactions around Bell Let’s Talk, with over $100 million donated to mental health initiatives. And 86% of Canadians say they are more aware of mental health issues since Bell Let’s Talk launched.

To learn more about Bell Let’s Talk, check out their website and toolkit that contains everything you need to participate. We hope you’ll follow us on Twitter and Facebook, to join us in raising funds and awareness so we can remove the stigma from the conversation about mental health!

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January is Stalking Awareness Month

CW: This blog post discusses stalking, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence.

January is National Stalking Awareness Month (NSAM), and though millions of men and women are stalked every year in the United States, the crime of stalking is often misunderstood, minimized and/or ignored.


What is “stalking?”

Stalking is a pattern of behavior directed at a specific person that causes fear. Many stalking victims experience being followed, approached and/or threatened — including through technology. Stalking is a terrifying and psychologically harmful crime in its own right as well as a predictor of serious violence.

Facts about stalking*

injured person with a bruise on their face
  • In 85% of cases where an intimate partner attempted to murder their partner, there was stalking in the year prior to the attack.

  • Of the millions of men and women stalked every year in the United States, over half report being stalked before the age of 25 and over 15% report it first happened before the age of 18.

  • Stalking often predicts and/or co-occurs with sexual and intimate partner violence. Stalkers may threaten sexual assault, convince someone else to commit assault and/or actually assault their victims.

  • Nearly 1 in 3 women who were stalked by an intimate partner were also sexually assaulted by that partner.

  • Stalking tactics might include: approaching a person or showing up in places when the person didn’t want them to be there; making unwanted telephone calls; leaving unwanted messages (text or voice); watching or following someone from a distance, or spying on someone with a listening device, camera, or GPS.

What is the impact on stalking victims?*

packed bag
  • 46% of stalking victims fear not knowing what will happen next.

  • 29% of stalking victims fear the stalking will never stop.

  • 1 in 8 employed stalking victims lose time from work as a result of their victimization and more than half lose 5 days of work or more.

  • 1 in 7 stalking victims move as a result of their victimization.

  • Stalking victims suffer much higher rates of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and social dysfunction than people in the general population.

How you can help

Helpline staff and volunteers can do a number of things to help people who reach you and talk about being stalked:

  • Provide validation and empathy.

  • Don’t minimize behaviors that are causing the person concern (e.g. “I wouldn’t worry.” “That doesn’t sound harmful.” “They’re only text messages.”)

  • Encourage the person to keep keep detailed documentation on stalking incidents and behavior. More information and a template can be found here.

  • Use Stalking Harassment and Risk Profile (SHARP) Risk Assessments at your organization. More information and a template can be found here.

  • Empower and help the person develop a safety plan that is flexible, comprehensive, and contextual. More information can be found in this guide for advocates.

  • If your organization does not provide direct services to assist with the issue, provide helpful resources such as a local domestic/intimate partner violence helpline, sexual assault helpline, legal resources, law enforcement, etc.

We all have a role to play in identifying stalking and supporting victims and survivors. We encourage you to learn more from the Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center at www.stalkingawareness.org.

*Source: Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center (SPARC)

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