“Net neutrality” is a term you’ve likely heard in recent months, but did you know that the repeal of these regulations could directly and negatively effect crisis services, suicide prevention, and other aspects of this industry’s online presence and serving consumers on those channels?
Beau Pinkham, Director of Crisis Intervention Services at the Crisis Center of Johnson County, recently penned an article on this topic on his organization’s blog. If you attended our recent webinar you know that Beau is well-versed in providing services online, and the technological hurdles crisis centers must navigate in delivering these services. He writes, in part:
Volunteers at The Crisis Center answer about 30,000 crisis contacts each year. About half of those are calls to the 24-hour hotline and half are chats. Soon, chat will surpass phone calls as the primary mode by which people in crisis get help. Demand is at an all-time high but nationally, only 9 percent of chats are answered.
At IowaCrisisChat.org, we are just beginning to find new, innovative ways to close the gap; but the FCC changed the rules and we are losing control.
What we built over the last decade is under threat. This entire system, like much of the web, was built with the assumption of open, equitable Internet in which everyone can participate. The FCC tearing net neutrality apart literally puts lives at stake.
To read his full article, click here.
iCarol is more than a product that helps you manage the many facets of running your helpline. We’ve worked on helplines so we know the challenges you face. From our iCarol user community to our industry white papers and downloadable guides to our blog, we care about bringing you relevant content that will help you enhance and grow the services you provide to your clients and communities.
In our latest endeavor to bring you helpful material, we’re partnering with CONTACT USA (CUSA) to provide a series of webinars covering important topics in the areas of Helpline Management, Information and referral, and Online Emotional Support (Chat and Texting).
The first of these webinars, scheduled for May 20th, will focus on Online Emotional Support, why you should be providing this service, and how you can integrate this new channel into your existing services. iCarol pioneered the efforts in the helpline industry to integrate chat and texting capabilities with the longstanding avenue of phone calls. CONTACT USA is the leader in Online Emotional Support training and accreditation. Together we have the tools and expertise you need to turn the idea of offering these services to your community into a reality.
Anecdotal evidence from crisis centers around the country has shown that for many years young people have seemed reticent to reach out to a telephone hotline. Additionally, people of all ages may feel more comfortable with the additional layer of anonymity and ease of access afforded by communicating through a computer. This includes people that may have social anxieties, may be deaf or hard-of-hearing or living with other disabilities that make verbal communication more challenging.
So we hope you’ll save the date and join us and CONTACT USA on May 20th to learn more about this exciting time for our industry. Can’t wait? Join us for one of our webinars to show you iCarol’s messaging capabilities or contact us to schedule a private walk through.