“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.
Adding on new communications channels people can use to reach your helpline is a critical element of providing effective service to your community in the 21st century. But, while the addition of such contact methods is important, it brings with it a unique set of challenges that crisis centers must be ready to address. Online emotional support, particularly Live Chat, can be extremely anonymous. In fact, that’s part of the appeal for users — the ability to confide in someone without revealing one’s face, voice, and identity sets exactly the stage that many people prefer or need in order to truly open up and reach out for help. In instances where emergency rescue might be needed for a person in imminent danger, the same exciting technology that allows so many in need to access help in the way they prefer can create anxiety and headaches for crisis workers who want to help.
Join us for our next webinar where we’ll delve into the topic of active intervention in the online space, and how this aspect of crisis intervention continues to evolve.
When: Thursday, January 25, 2018
Time: 2:00pm Eastern
Director of Crisis Intervention Services
The Crisis Center of Johnson County
Beau has been part of the crisis intervention/suicide prevention field since 2002, when he started volunteering at his local crisis line. Subsequent experience being a flood recovery outreach counselor after the devastation of 2008 and working with the homeless population after that led him to a staff position with The Crisis Center of Johnson County, where he currently directs crisis intervention and suicide prevention services. He is a current board member for Contact USA, an accrediting body for crisis centers across the United States, and is part of the American Association of Suicidology’s Strategic Media Response Task Force. He has been involved in panel discussions on the intersection of video games and suicide at SXSW and other conferences, and has presented on how tech trends have affected and will continue to affect crisis intervention services.
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Please see below for a career opportunity with our friends at United Way 2-1-1 in North Carolina:
Please see below for a career opportunity with our friends at MHA-NYC:
MHA-NYC is recruiting for the exciting new role of Program Director for the NYC Support program. NYC Support will continue the pathbreaking history of its predecessor, LifeNet, as New York City’s premier information and referral, supportive counseling, and crisis intervention services by telephone, text, and web chat. In addition, NYC Support will utilize cutting edge technologies to provide peer support services, enhanced follow-up, and eventually appointment scheduling to New Yorkers 24/7/365. MHA-NYC is looking for a Program Director to manage all aspects of the program’s operations and clinical practice, and continue LifeNet’s legacy of dynamic leadership in the crisis center community.
On Wednesday Facebook implemented a new feature to aid in suicide prevention on the social network.
Read the full job description and application instructions here.
Developed in partnership with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention (which is a nonprofit group working out of the University of Washington’s School of Social Work), and other groups, this new feature is giving users more options in reporting, and supporting, their friends who are posting statuses and other updates that cause concern.
The social network has displayed an awareness of its important role in suicide prevention in the past. Several years ago Facebook first added tools to aid in suicide prevention. This included the ability to report a friends’ concerning posts, along with links and tips on how to help a friend in need.
The new feature goes a bit further. If someone sees a post by a friend that they find concerning or indicative of suicide ideation, they can click on a dropdown menu and choose to “report” the post. From there, Facebook provides different options, including the ability for the concerned friend to directly message the potentially suicidal friend, connect that friend with a suicide prevention helpline, or involve a third friend (perhaps someone who they know to be close with the suicidal individual).
Additionally, Facebook will review the reported post. If after review the person is indeed deemed to be in danger of harming themselves, Facebook will present to them more messages the next time they sign on. Those messages will present various options, like reach out to a friend, talk to a helpline, read self-care tips, seek professional help, in an effort to connect them with a source of support with which they’ll be comfortable.
For more information about these new features, check out some of the material below.
Official post from Facebook Safety
Forefront and Facebook launch suicide prevention effort
Facebook improves tool for suicide prevention
Facebook’s New Suicide Prevention Tools Finally Get It Right (Opinion)
We love sharing stories of the great work you and your volunteers and staff are doing in communities all around the world. This week we noticed this article in the Toronto Star highlighting the work of the Good2Talk Program, a partnership between ConnexOntario, Kids Help Phone, Ontario 211 and the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health.
The transition to post-secondary education can be a tough one for many youth. Stress comes from all sides, from overwhelming tasks at university, time management issues, social and romantic struggles, pressure to get good marks, financial struggles, being away from family and other support systems, and much more. All of these issues can be compounded for students who may additionally be living with diagnosable mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety.
Good2Talk aims to provide these students with a free and confidential place to talk, where they can be connected with professional counselling, information and referrals to mental health, addictions, and other human services, and receive general listening and suicide prevention services. Read more…