Q How does the National
Hopeline Network 1.800.SUICIDE work?
The National Hopeline Network links crisis centers certified by the
American Association of Suicidology (AAS) under one easy-to-remember,
toll-free number. When a caller places a call to 1.800.SUICIDE, a
sophisticated computer system “reads” the caller’s area code, then
seamlessly transfers the call to the closest participating crisis center.
If that center is busy, or unable to take the call, the computer system
reroutes that call to the next closest crisis center. Hopeline centers
choose what area code coverage they want to handle and the system routes
the calls appropriately.
How much does it cost to be part of the National Hopeline Network?
Nothing! There is no cost to join the Network. The AAS and its
partner, the Kristen Brooks Hope Center (KBHC), recently received a
three-year (2001-2004) $7.55 million grant from the Substance Abuse and
Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to cover the first-year
costs of being certified by the AAS and joining the Hopeline Network. And,
going forward, the KBHC, as program manager of the National Hopeline
Network, will pay the phone bill for centers that are a part of the
If my center joins the Network, what can we expect to change in our
Very little. The main change is an increase in call volume. For
most centers, this increase is small --
about two to three extra calls per day. Some centers, because they
have chosen to provide coverage to a large number of area codes, have seen
a significant increase in their call volume. But it’s up to each center
to determine the call volume that works for them.
Q What are the benefits
of belonging to the National Hopeline Network?
Participation in the National Hopeline Network 1.800.SUICIDE helps
Fulfill its mission to save
lives by making it easier for people in need to get help 24 hours a day, 7
days a week.
Take advantage of being part of
a national initiative while remaining a unique, autonomous local crisis
Have access to free web-based
technology to streamline data collection and access to resources.
Use the 1.800.SUICIDE hotline
number without having to pay the phone bill.
Have the opportunity to
interact with other National Hopeline Network crisis centers through the
Receive a free subscription to Preventing
Suicide: The National Journal.
What size area must my center cover?
A Area code coverage is up to each individual center.
Centers can choose to be either the primary center or a rollover center
for an area code(s). Primary centers receive all calls from their selected
area code(s). If they are unable to take a call, the phone system routes
that call to the first rollover center for that area code. Rollover
centers pick up the calls that the primary center can not take. Therefore,
rollover centers receive fewer calls per area code than primary centers.
The technology currently being developed by the KBHC will allow us to
break down calling areas into even smaller components by utilizing not
only an area code, but the telephone exchanges within that area code.
Who can join the National Hopeline Network?
Any crisis center that is certified by the American Association of
Suicidology (AAS) is eligible to join the Hopeline Network. For
information about becoming AAS certified, contact the AAS Certification
Coordinator, at (202) 237-2280 or email@example.com.
Or, you can visit the AAS web site at www.suicidology.org.
What new technology is being developed for the National Hopeline
A The KBHC is currently developing new technology
that will help to improve the Network’s effectiveness by providing
centers with the following:
Web-based lethality assessment
Web-based tool to standardize
gathering data on calls;
capabilities and the ability to break down coverage areas into smaller
components (telephone exchanges);
Ability to identify and bring
crisis-line workers with special skills into a call seamlessly.
expect to begin implementing this new technology later this year (2003).
How does my center join?
A If you are certified by the AAS, then simply review
the Hopeline Agreement and Guidelines, discuss your preferred area code
coverage the KBHC, sign and then return the Agreement to the KBHC. Our
staff will then process your paperwork and submit your information to our
long distance carrier so you can start receiving Hopeline calls. If you
are not certified by the AAS, contact the AAS’s Certification
Coordinator at 202.237.2280 or firstname.lastname@example.org