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If you - or someone you know - are having thoughts about suicide, call 1.800.SUICIDE (784-2433). Calls are connected to a certified crisis center nearest the caller’s location. Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Q   How does the National Hopeline Network 1.800.SUICIDE work?

A    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.

Q   How much does it cost to be part of the National Hopeline Network?

A    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 Network.

Q   If my center joins the Network, what can we expect to change in our day-to-day operations?

A    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?

A    Participation in the National Hopeline Network 1.800.SUICIDE helps your organization:

Ø      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.

Ø      Take advantage of being part of a national initiative while remaining a unique, autonomous local crisis center provider.

Ø      Have access to free web-based technology to streamline data collection and access to resources.

Ø      Use the 1.800.SUICIDE hotline number without having to pay the phone bill.

Ø      Have the opportunity to interact with other National Hopeline Network crisis centers through the 1.800.SUICIDE listserv.

Ø      Receive a free subscription to Preventing Suicide: The National Journal.

Q   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.

Q   Who can join the National Hopeline Network?

A    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 info@suicidology.org. Or, you can visit the AAS web site at www.suicidology.org.

Q   What new technology is being developed for the National Hopeline Network?

A    The KBHC is currently developing new technology that will help to improve the Network’s effectiveness by providing centers with the following:

Ø      Web-based lethality assessment tool;

Ø      Web-based tool to standardize gathering data on calls;

Ø      “Smarter” phone-routing capabilities and the ability to break down coverage areas into smaller components (telephone exchanges);

Ø      Ability to identify and bring crisis-line workers with special skills into a call seamlessly.

      We expect to begin implementing this new technology later this year (2003).

Q   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 info@suicidology.org .  





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