Tag: suicide prevention

Read the latest information on HeartLine

Last week HeartLine received funding from the Sarkey’s Foundation to begin launching a chat program for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in Oklahoma! HeartLine is so thankful for this wonderful opportunity to expand our services.

Although suicide happens at all ages, youth ages 10-24 are considered a high risk population and in Oklahoma the rate of youth suicide is above the national average. One of the most difficult things about reaching the youth in need relates to the method of communication they are offered. With advances in technology, youth today are accustomed to texting, chatting, blogging, and instant messaging. Talking on the phone as a means of communication or connection is less common for youth today and this trend doesn’t seem to be changing.

With the addition of a chat program for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, HeartLine will be able to offer a familiar, convenient, and comfortable communication option for youth and Oklahomans of all ages. The chat program is currently scheduled to launch on February 1, 2013. HeartLine is passionate about being Oklahoma’s community crisis connection and is committed to preventing youth suicide.

From everyone at HeartLine we say “Thank You” to the Sarkeys Foundation for seeing our vision and giving us the necessary funding to save Oklahoma lives!

This blog brought to you by: Lisa Harper, Director of Development

Nov 15, 2012

By HeartLine Administrator

November 17th – International Survivors of Suicide Day

Every day, someone in Oklahoma dies by suicide, leaving friends and family behind to try to make sense of a tragic loss. In Oklahoma, suicide is also the 2nd leading cause of death for young people aged 10-24. November 17th is International Survivors of Suicide Day, a time set aside for the survivor community to come together for mutual support, and practical guidance on coping with grief. HeartLine would like to honor survivors of suicide.

If you’ve lost someone you love to suicide, you are not alone; you are a part of a unique network of others who understand the profound loss and overwhelming emotions of losing a loved one to suicide.At HeartLine, we want to honor the memory of those who have been lost to suicide and show our support to the families and friends who have been left behind. No one chooses to walk the path of a suicide survivor, but there is hope, help, and healing to light the way.

HeartLine is here to offer support and resources. Call 2-1-1 for information and referrals for many different services such as Survivors of Suicide groups, counseling, and mental health care. If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. Call Specialists are standing by, 24 hours a day. For information about HELP, HeartLine’s youth suicide prevention initiative, visit our dedicated Suicide Prevention and Outreach page.

This blog brought to you by Kelly Rogers, Call Center Team Lead

KOCO-TV 5, HeartLine, Oklahoma’s Community Crisis Connection, and The United Way of Central Oklahoma,  are partnerhing to announce “A Day Of Hope.” This special community event on Monday, November 12th is focused on teenage suicide prevention and anchored by KOCO-TV 5’s Jessica Schambach. “A Day Of Hope” will provide community resources and local experts with support and assistance for families and teenagers, all to help save lives.

Teenage suicide is at a crisis level in our community. Oklahoma ranks as the 12th highest in the nation for deaths by suicide, according to 2009 data. One in four local teenagers surveyed by HeartLine has experienced depression and/or thought about suicide. In the city of Edmond alone, three unrelated teenagers died by suicide in a two week period earlier this year. After covering these tragic stories, Jessica Schambach and the news team at KOCO-TV 5 decided to take action against this trend, partnering with HeartLine and the United Way. “A Day Of Hope” is the result. Local families who have lost a child to suicide are also joining in this event, courageously sharing their stories to help keep other families from experiencing this devastating loss.

“This is a critical issue for local families and our entire community. As a mother I can’t imagine the heartbreak of losing a child,” said Jessica Schambach, KOCO-TV 5 Anchor. “Reporting on this story exposed the need for more help and with help comes hope. We are grateful to HeartLine and United Way for partnering with us in this important effort to save lives.”

“A Day Of Hope” begins Monday November 12th with KOCO-TV 5’s Eyewitness News 5 in the Morning. HeartLine’s  Director of Development, Lisa Harper, will be live in the KOCO-TV 5 studios during the morning news to talk about the crisis and share help available. HeartLine has been serving Oklahoma since 1971, and provides suicide prevention outreach programs, listening and intervention services, and answers the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for 76 of 77 Oklahoma counties. Promotion of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number, 1-800-273-TALK, will also begin in the morning news and continue the entire day on KOCO-TV 5. Later in the afternoon, people will be able to submit questions online in a live anonymous web forum on KOCO.com from 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. The live forum will be moderated and feature an expert answering submitted questions. KOCO.com will also feature an enhanced Suicide Prevention resource page where visitors can get access to many resources all in one place.

Coverage continues with Jessica Schambach anchoring the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. news live from the United Way of Central Oklahoma. There a panel of experts will answer live and submitted viewer questions. Schambach will also share stories of local families working to overcome their loss and prevent others from losing a child to suicide in the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. shows. Schambach will conclude coverage with a special story on Eyewitness News 5 at 10 p.m.

Members of the special panel airing live at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. will include: Susan Alberts, School Psychologist at Edmond North High School; Sarah Barry, Business and Community Development Liaison at Integris Mental Health; Kris Bryant, Senior Supervisor and Therapist, NorthCare Children’s Mobile Crisis Team; David Harris, Prevention Program Manager, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services; Louise Thurman, Psychiatrist and CEO of IPS Research Company; Rachel Yates, Director of Suicide Prevention and Outreach Programs at HeartLine; Kenneth Elliott, Director of the Violence Prevention Project at the University of Central Oklahoma.

“A Day Of Hope” airs on KOCO TV-5 and KOCO.com, Monday, November 12, 2012.


What a great way to end the week with a news interview on KFOR 4 about HeartLine’s Festival of Hope! Thank you Rocky Dunham for joining HeartLine on the show to talk about how HeartLine has impacted your life.

Festival of Hope is August 24th at 6:30 p.m. at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Co- Chaired by Tom and Lisa Price, this event seeks to raise awareness and funds for HeartLine’s vital programs. To learn more about this event, view a sponsor list, and purchase tickets online, please visit the Festival of Hope page.

Jul 23, 2012

By HeartLine Administrator

Crisis Intervention Specialist Training

In this past fiscal year HeartLine served around 163,000 people. OU stadium can seat about 82,000 people. Fill it up twice and then sit down with every single person and talk to them for about 5 minutes, some of them for 30 minutes or longer. In those conversations, listen to their fears, anxieties, and frustrations. Give them some options which they may not have seen before and send them out of the stadium one-by-one.

This is the work done by HeartLine Call Specialists working around the clock to empower the people of Oklahoma with help, hope and information.

Is this an easy task? No. Is it needed? Yes! As a volunteer Call Specialist with HeartLine, you will be helping to empower people on a daily basis. The vital work you will conduct helps our community to evaluate service gaps, identify trends in needs and find realistic solutions for a sustainable and healthy future for the people of Oklahoma.  

Will you join us in answering that next call on the line? You could be that voice that helps someone out of domestic violence, helps the homeless person find a shelter, helps the single parent find a food pantry or even saves the life of someone who has lost all reason to live.

Our next training begins with a 2-day intensive on Suicide Intervention training August 29-30. The training continues Monday/Wednesday evenings September 3-19. For more information on our upcoming training contact Louis Paugh at 405-840-9396 x167 or email lpaugh@heartlineoklahoma.org.

This blog post brought to you by: Louis Paugh, Call Center Coordinator

HeartLine is happy to welcome Kirk Smalley of Stand for the Silent! Kirk visited the HeartLine office today and discussed their efforts at preventing bullying and suicide. Stand for the Silent was formed in 2010 by a group of students at the Oklahoma State University Oklahoma City’s Upward Bound Chapter after they became aware of Kirk and Laura Smalley’s son, Ty Field-Smalley. Ty took his life at the age of 11 after being suspended from school for retaliating against his bully. Ty had been bullied for over 2 years. Stand for the Silent is a platform that allows Kirk and Laura Smalley to share their story and to offer education and tools to prevent their tragedy from happening to another child. Since May 2010, the Smalleys have traveled to 488 schools and spoken with over 612,000 students and adults throughout the world.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, bullying is an epidemic that causes 160,000 children a day to stay home from school because they are afraid of being bullied. Researchers at Yale University found that bullying victims are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than someone not being bullied. Their study of 13 countries found a connection between bullying, being bullied, and suicide. Both the victim and the bully are more likely to consider suicide. 1 in 4 kids will be abused by another youth, according to the American Justice Department. If you are being bullied or worried about someone being bullied, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This service is free, confidential, and available 24 hours a day. HeartLine answers the Lifeline for 76 of 77 counties in Oklahoma. The Lifeline provides compassionate listening, crisis intervention, and information and referrals. If you’d like to learn more about bullying in Oklahoma, visit the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s bullying web page.

HeartLine, Oklahoma’s Community Crisis Connection, needs community volunteers to help address youth suicide rates in Oklahoma. You can make a difference by becoming a volunteer presenter for HeartLine’s Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative, the Healthy Education for Life Program (HELP)! The next training session will be held on July 21st from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Pre-registration and full attendance is required.  To sign up for this training, please contact HeartLine’s Director of Suicide Prevention & Outreach Programs, Rachel Yates, at ryates@heartlineoklahoma.org at 405.840.9396 ext. 107.

In Oklahoma, suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10 – 24.  The vision of HELP is to equip Oklahoma youth with the knowledge and intervention skills to prevent youth suicide.  HELP works towards this vision by providing Oklahoma youth with an interactive, multi-faceted training. Through the combination of a video, lecture, and group activity, students learn the warning signs of suicide and how to get help for themselves or for a friend.  The video-based program currently reaches approximately 5,000 youth each year. In the 2011-2012 school year, about 25% of students identified themselves or a friend as being at risk for depression or suicide.

HeartLine has been serving Oklahoma since 1971, and provides suicide prevention outreach programs, listening and crisis intervention services. HeartLine’s Call Specialists are trained in crisis intervention and are available around the clock through HeartLine’s phone-based services, including 2-1-1,  the Oklahoma Problem Gambling Helpline 1-800-522-4700, and two national suicide prevention lines 1-800-SUICIDE and 1-800-273-TALK.

You can learn more about the HELP initiative and see a preview of the HELP video on our our Suicide Prevention and Outreach Programs  page. You can learn more about HeartLine’s other volunteer opportunities on our Volunteer Opportunities  page.

Jun 15, 2012

By ryates

Volunteer Spotlight on Harleta Stokes

HELP Volunteer Harleta Stokes

Today we present a brief interview with one of our outstanding HELP volunteers, Harleta Stokes. Harleta is one of HeartLine’s most dedicated HELP volunteers and has been volunteering with the program since 2003. During her time spent as a volunteer, Harleta has presented HELP to thousands of students in middle schools and high schools in the OKC metro area.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Married, two sons – also married- and one grandson. Retired from Arvest Bank/Security BankCard Center, office management. Enjoy golfing, cross-stitching and knitting preemie-caps, gardening, hunting gophers and attending OU Women’s Basketball games. 

What brought you to HeartLine?

I wanted to get involved and volunteer but I didn’t know at the time what that would be. One weekend I was listening to the radio and I heard a public service program talking about the Choice program (HELP) and how volunteers were needed. That was it! I knew immediately I found what I wanted to do. 

Why did you decide to become a HELP volunteer?

At first it was hard for me to understand how so many of our young people could be struggling with the decision of suicide, but it was easy to understand the importance in getting information to our youth to make a better decision. I had spent many years being a corporate trainer and I knew talking with the students would come easy for me and would be a good fit. I didn’t realize at the time the positive impact the HELP presentations would have for our youth. This was the program for me to help make a difference. 

What is your favorite thing about being a HELP presenter?

The students never fail to surprise me and you never know what they might say or ask which keeps me on my toes. We have some really sharp kids, great teachers and counselors and it’s a good feeling going into the schools to help everyone with this difficult subject. Knowing that our presentation is giving them ‘tools’ to help themselves, their friends or a family member makes it worthwhile. 

What would you say to someone that is thinking about volunteering?

Knowing that in a short period of time we are ‘touching’ so many wonderful kids, giving them good, solid and important information makes volunteering an easy decision. This program is not hard to learn or to deliver and it doesn’t have to take a lot of personal time. You just have to look into their eyes to realize how important this information is. It’s also necessary for this program to have a strong volunteer base to handle all of the presentations. If you knew you could help a child make a life saving decision or for them to be able to help someone else, wouldn’t you want to participate?    

Are there any obstacles you have had to overcome in order to volunteer?

For me, there really hasn’t been any obstacles. Making sure everyone around me understood why I was volunteering for HELP and its importance assisted others for their buy-in. Management at work was very supportive. Now that I’m retired it’s simply sorting through my priorities and HELP is at the top of that list.

For more information about becoming a HELP volunteer, visit our Suicide Prevention and Outreach Programs page or our Volunteer Opportunities page. HeartLine will hold a HELP volunteer training session on Saturday, July 21st from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information email Rachel Yates or call 405-840-9396 x107.

Jun 12, 2012

By lharper

Lifeline Story in the News











The Oklahoman recently ran a great story about HeartLine and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  HeartLine answers the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 24 hours day, for 76 out of 77 Oklahoma Counties.  This informative story discussed how in recent years we have seen an increase in total call volume to the Lifeline. Check out this great story and video interviews!

HeartLine met with the R.I.S.E. (Revolution Inspired by Self Evolution) Phoenix tour, a team of two men who are bicycling across the United States to raise awareness about suicide and the healing power of art. HeartLine hosted a meeting with Thomas Brown and Zachary Chipps of R.I.S.E. Phoenix and other community members on Saturday, May 19th. Both members of R.I.S.E. Phoenix are suicide survivors and shared their stories with the group. Other survivors at the meeting shared their stories about the loss of a loved one to suicide. The discussion involved sharing HeartLine’s work in the realm of suicide prevention, postvention, and intervention. HeartLine also got to learn about other prevention and postvention programs R.I.S.E. has met with along their tour. You can learn more about R.I.S.E. Phoenix and follow their tour on their web site http://risephoenix.org/ and on their Twitter page http://twitter.com/#!/RisePhoenix2012/. Thank you R.I.S.E. Phoenix for taking the time to meet with HeartLine!