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The Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) Announces New Name, Brand

After fifty years of serving the sector as the Alliance of Information & Referral Systems (AIRS), the organization has rebranded the organization as Inform USA to better reflect its commitment to its mission and members. The change was announced at its 50th Anniversary Celebration on the evening of July 31 at the organization’s annual conference in Orlando, Florida.

Among the reasons for the name change, Inform USA more closely aligns the organization with its Canadian counterpart and frequent partner and collaborator, InformCanada. The chat bubbles seen in the new logo visually represent the exchange of information its membership provides to the consumers and constituents they serve.

In the announcement, InformUSA explained the balance of the need to preserve the legacy and good works of the organization over the past 50 years, with needed changes around technology, access, and modernization. The organization’s overall mission remains the same, however members are promised greater ease of access to membership benefits, networking, and information via the new and improved website and Member Compass.

The iCarol team is very excited to see our friends at Inform USA take these steps to build a bright future for everyone in the I&R industry. We can’t wait to see what’s next, and offer our sincere congratulations and support!

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iCarol Customer Conference is 10 days away

We wanted to post a friendly reminder that iCarol’s Customer Conference is just 10 days away!

The team is excited to provide existing iCarol customers, as well as those who don’t yet use iCarol but would like to learn more about us and our software, with a day of discussion and training related to iCarol capabilities as well as industry-specific information. We’ll share information on:

  • Data and reporting
  • Resource management
  • Care coordination
  • Closed-loop referral
  • and iCarol’s future development in a User Group session

This year’s conference will be held at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld on Sunday, July 30. We will be in the Tarpon room located on the second floor of the hotel. Refreshments including coffee, iced tea, water, and donuts will be served at the start of our day. While any travel and lodging costs will be your responsibility, there is no cost to attend this event. We do not plan to record any portion of the customer conference, however we will hold a virtual user group session later this year.

If you haven’t yet registered but would like to attend, there is still time to do so. Please visit our official conference page to learn more, and register.

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iCarol attending the National Council on Problem Gambling Conference in Washington, D.C.

From Wednesday, July 26 through Friday, July 28, 2023, iCarol will exhibit at the National Council on Problem Gambling’s annual National Conference on Gambling Addiction and Responsible Gambling, to be held in Washington, D.C.

iCarol is the technology provider for the National Council’s 24 hour 1-800-GAMBLER hotline services offered through Chat and SMS/Text. Through the use of NCPG affiliates, this national hotline is staffed 24/7/365 with all calls, chats, and text messages being routed to an affiliate organization serving the help-seeker’s region. Using iCarol’s common messaging queue, all chat and SMS/Text messages are routed to the designated center so that the proper affiliate organization can answer, respond, and provide assistance to those in need.

This industry has experienced a number of changes due to the proliferation of sports betting since 2018 when the United States Supreme Court struck down a law that had prevented most states from allowing sports betting.

Since that law was deemed unconstitutional, nearly 2/3 of US States have begun allowing sports betting, resulting in over $220 billion dollars spent by Americans on bets in the last 5 years.

From the article:

    Those treating compulsive gambling say calls to their hotlines seeking help have increased significantly in the five years since sports betting was legalized and made available on cell phones. Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, says calls to the 800-GAMBLER help line have increased by 15% over the last five years as “states began the fastest and largest expansion of gambling in our history.”

The National Council on Problem Gambling does not take a position for or against legalized gambling, according to its mission and values. Instead, it serves as an advocate to mitigate gambling-related harm — advocating for those who are effected by problem gambling, promoting collaborative action of a broad range of people and organizations, treating those affected by problem gambling with respect, and striving to be an objective, accurate and reliable source of information for those who are concerned about problem gambling.

We look forward to the opportunity to support NCPG’s efforts and mission by attending the conference next week. iCarol is always happy to invite new NCPG affiliates to join the 1-800-GAMBLER network. If your problem gambling advocacy organization would like to learn more, please speak to us during exhibition hours at the conference, or schedule a meeting with us!

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July is BIPOC Mental Health Month

July Is Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, which is also known as BIPOC Mental Health Month.

July was first recognized as Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in 2008, and was created to bring awareness to the struggles that underrepresented groups face regarding mental illness in the US.

Who was Bebe Moore Campbell?

Bebe Moore Campbell was an American author, journalist, teacher, and mental health advocate who worked to expose the mental health needs of the Black community and other underrepresented communities.

Each year Mental Health advocacy organizations launch their public education campaigns dedicated to addressing the mental health needs of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).

Mental Health America‘s chosen theme for BIPOC Mental Health Month in 2023 is “Culture, Community, & Connection.”

Our lives are deeply intertwined with our environments, and these surroundings impact our mental health and overall wellness. Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) populations are faced with disproportionate amounts of historical trauma and displacement that can challenge their ability to thrive in their environments. However, culture, community, and connection are pillars that support and uplift BIPOC individuals in the face of oppression and systemic racism. Learn more in these resources about how BIPOC communities have thrived.

You can download Mental Health America’s free BIPOC Mental Health Month Toolkit here.

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iCarol Customer Conference Schedule and Agenda

Thanks to everyone who recently completed our survey about topics of discussion for our Customer Conference to be held in Orlando, Florida on July 30, 2023 at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld ahead of the AIRS Discovery Conference. After reading through your feedback and finalizing our sessions, today we’re announcing our agenda!


Our session titles are:

    Shining a Light on Resource Data and Reports
    Coordinating Care: A Team Expedition
    Uncover Your Data’s Potential
    Adventure into the Horizon: iCarol User Group
    Discover iCarol

Read the full schedule and session descriptions here. Space is limited, so register now!

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iCarol Virtually Exhibiting at Texas Suicide Prevention Symposium

Texas Suicide Prevention Symposium

From June 13-15, 2023, iCarol will participate and hold virtual exhibit space as part of the Texas Suicide Prevention Symposium.

This is our second year participating in the event and we look forward to engaging with professionals working to prevent suicide in Texas. There are numerous exciting projects and initiatives happening in the state. Texas has an impressive suicide prevention collaborative made up of nearly 40 community centers working to serve the entire state, including many who operate 988 as a primary or backup center.

We encourage you to visit our virtual exhibit booth using the Whova app. At our booth you can download several materials about how iCarol is serving suicide prevention centers including 988 centers, and the tools and technology available when you work with iCarol. Our virtual booth will be staffed during conference hours – please chat in with your questions and we’ll promptly respond! If you’d like to meet with us another time to learn more, please schedule a meeting at your convenience.

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iCarol at the Child Care Aware of America Conference

a teacher reading a story to children This year, for the first time, iCarol will exhibit at the SOLD OUT Child Care Aware of America Symposium in Arlington, Virginia.

In recent years iCarol has welcomed several new customers who are Child Care Resource and Referral agencies. These agencies curate a comprehensive database of child care providers in their state, province, or region. This includes all sorts of information that parents and caregivers need when researching their options and making decisions — hours of operation, current openings, languages spoken, pre-school or educational programs offered, voucher acceptance, locations, and much more.

Child Care Resource and Referral agencies using iCarol have found that iCarol’s resource database offers the ultimate flexibility for their needs. Further, iCarol helps them document and track their interactions with parents, caregivers, and others who are inquiring about available care in their community. iCarol is also helping them send child care referrals by Email and SMS/Text, allowing them to accept online inquiries using Public Web Forms, and keep their listings updated while using less staff resources to do so with Automated Resource Verification.

If you’re going to the conference, please stop by and visit Veronica at our booth, which will be located at the entrance to the exhibition and registration area. We have lots of great information to provide, and you can also download our new eBook. We’re excited to see you in Arlington!

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iCarol Exhibiting at American Association of Suicidology Conference

iCarol software and 988 Lifeline

From Wednesday, April 19 through Friday, April 21, Aaron from the iCarol team will be at the American Association of Suicidology Conference in Portland, Oregon hosting our booth in the exhibit hall and attending other events.

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, advocates focused on prevention, education and awareness, and those with lived experience.

So we can continue to stay ahead of the topics that most impact iCarol’s customers and continue to support the work of crisis centers, Aaron will join a number of networking and information events. This includes the Lines for Life crisis center tour, and receptions and networking meetings for 988 centers.

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, and eventually transitioning to the 988 initiative. At this year’s update we’re anticipating the latest news on the development and growth of the 988 network. We’re closely following the continuing conversations on how communities are changing their practices around responding to mental health emergencies and similar crises, with a continuing shift towards crisis intervention teams and other professionals leading the response as opposed to law enforcement.

iCarol enthusiastically supports the efforts to reimagine crisis response in communities across the United States. It’s crucial that people everywhere have access to human-focused, culturally competent crisis care that meets their needs whether that be through an empathetic listener on a crisis line, an in-person visit from a mobile crisis response team, or a stay at a crisis stabilization center. It’s our mission to provide tools to crisis centers that help them respond to their community’s needs. We hope you’ll explore our website to learn more about how we are serving this industry.

The discussions at AAS 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. That’s why we want to ensure we take advantage of being together in-person in Portland to have conversations about challenges, needs, and solutions. If you plan to be at the AAS Conference, please stop by our booth to download our guides and materials, including our ebook on choosing software for crisis intervention and suicide prevention services. Aaron will be available for 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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Utah CALL-UP Uses iCarol Public Web Forms to Connect Physicians with Psychiatric Consultation

Even with increased awareness and understanding about mental health and mental illness, mental health care, particularly psychiatric care, can still be difficult to access. This often leaves Primary Care Physicians (PCPs), nurses, and other healthcare workers on the frontlines of mental health care in the United States.

However, in Utah PCPs can access specialized psychiatric consultations through the Consultation Access Link Line to Utah Psychiatry (CALL-UP) Program. This legislative funded program is designed to address the limited number of psychiatric services in Utah and improve access to them, and serves patients at no cost to providers or patients in the state of Utah.

iCarol is proud to play a role in the service delivery of CALL-UP, through CALL-UP’s use of iCarol for psychiatrist on-call shift sign up, CALL-UP program documentation to maintain state funding, and through iCarol’s Public Web Forms.

Here’s how iCarol fits into the service delivery workflow of the CALL-UP program in Utah:

  1. The on-call service for psychiatry consultation is available Monday through Friday from 12:00pm to 4:30 pm. Participating psychiatrists are invited by the CALL-UP program administrators to sign into the iCarol system to sign up for shifts where they will be on-call for consultations.
  2. Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) are instructed to contact the CALL-UP program to request a consultation. If the PCP calls in, CALL-UP staff collect basic demographic, needs, and other important data from the PCP in order to comply with state funding requirements, which is input by the phone specialist into iCarol, using an iCarol Contact Form. Then, they can forward the call to the on-call psychiatrist for the consultation to occur.
  3. PCPs can also request a consultation online, using an iCarol Public Web Form. The form has a built-in screening element that first ensures the requestor is a physician, as this is a requirement for program access. If they are not a physician, a prompt instructs them to please contact their doctor.
  4. If the requestor is a PCP then they continue to use the form to provide the information needed to obtain a consultation, including the demographic and other information required to maintain state funding.
  5. Once the Public Web Form is received by CALL-UP staff, they have the information they need to contact the PCP requesting consultation, and connect them with the on-call psychiatrist. Because the iCarol Web Form is simply a publicly available iCarol Contact Form, they already have the data they need, automatically submitted to iCarol with the form, to meet their reporting requirements.

For more information about Utah’s CALL-UP Program, visit their website.

Want to learn more about Public Web Forms and talk through how they might be used for your program or partnership?

Email Us   Schedule a Meeting

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Funding Opportunity: Office for Victims of Crime Building Capacity of National Crisis Hotlines

The following is being shared from the United States Office for Victims of Crime.

OVC anticipates making up to 2 awards of up to $2 million each for up to a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2023.

This program seeks to enhance or expand the capacity of national hotlines that are essential for providing crisis intervention services, safety planning, information, referrals, and resources for victims of crime.

It also supports participation in the National Hotline Consortium, a group of leading national victim service and crisis intervention hotlines that share technology service delivery and promising practices to provide high-quality support for victims and survivors.

During a Pre-Application webinar, OVC staff will review solicitation requirements and conduct a question and answer session with interested potential applicants. Participation in the webinar is optional, but strongly encouraged.

The Pre-Application Webinar is scheduled for:

    Date: Friday, March 24, 2023
    Time: 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., eastern time

This opportunity closes on May 1, 2023.

Learn More

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