AN INSIDE LOOK
HEARTLINE, INC. AWARDED CONTRACT TO BECOME NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE BACKUP CALL AND CHAT/TEXT CENTER
HeartLine, Inc. Awarded Contract to Become National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Backup Call and Chat/Text Center
Part of Historic Expansion by Vibrant Emotional Health to Prepare for National Transition to 988
OKLAHOMA CITY – HeartLine is pleased to be awarded a contract with Vibrant Emotional Health to serve as a backup call and chat/text center for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Vibrant Emotional Health (Vibrant), the nonprofit administrator of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline), announced contracts were awarded to local crisis centers across the country to strengthen the Lifeline's national services. Vibrant's awarded contracts are a crucial step forward in a transformative and historic time for crisis care. They were made possible through an infusion of $152 million in November 2021 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to Vibrant Emotional Health in preparation for 988, the new 3-digit number assigned by the FCC to the Lifeline to assist all people in mental health or suicidal crisis. The new 988 Lifeline number will be fully accessible in the United States and its territories on July 16, 2022.
“HeartLine is proud to partner with Vibrant Emotional Health to be serving as a national backup center for the new 988 Lifeline number,” said Margi Preston, Executive Director of Heartline Oklahoma. “Having previously served as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provider for the state of Oklahoma for 17 years, our trained crisis counselors are ready to work with local and national partners to provide backup services for emotional support to individuals in crisis. We appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the nationwide 988 movement and look forward to contributing our expertise toward making its rollout a success.”
Vibrant's new contracts will expand national backup support for phone calls; add additional centers to support national chat and text services; and build additional capacity for Spanish-speaking individuals seeking care through Lifeline’s Spanish-language subnetwork of centers. These contracts, which began in March 2022, are the largest single expansion of capacity in Lifeline's history, increasing the number of crisis centers in key areas of Lifeline services, as well as increasing payments to participating centers.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of over 200 locally operated and funded crisis centers across the country, offering support to people in emotional distress and suicidal crisis since 2005. The Lifeline network is designed to route calls through a national number to local centers; as well as ensure a robust national backup network to support the contacts that are unable to be answered in-state. Numerous evaluations by independent research teams have shown that the Lifeline centers are effective in reducing the emotional distress and suicidality of persons contacting their service. As 988 is expected to increase access for persons in crisis when it is launched nationally this month, Vibrant believes that many more people will benefit from this lifesaving service, for years to come.
HeartLine connects Oklahomans with help, hope and information 24 hours a day. The United Way partner helps more than 535,000 families and individuals each year and is structured to bring resources and compassionate nonjudgmental support to Oklahomans in need. To learn more about HeartLine and its programs and services, visit www.heartlineoklahoma.org.