Our trained volunteer and paid staff improve the emotional well-being and safety of adults and children through readily available counseling, education, and information services.
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National Hopeline Network
From Douglas County, KS
2011 Technology Upgrade Plan
March 2011 Update
Timeline: Our plan is to incorporate the technology upgrades by June 2011.
Historically, the most common way for people to reach out to us for help is by telephone. In upcoming years we anticipate increased use of services by email, by computer text messaging, and by live chat through our website as well. People in our area are also welcome to meet with us in-person. However our telephone system is literally a lifeline, and our current system has frayed from heavy use since 1999. In addition, to help meet increasing needs, we need additional phone lines beyond the six we currently have. Our current phone system no longer has that capacity. Having reliable telephone lines and equipment is vital to the children, teens, and adults who depend on us.
Our computer network has become vital to our mission as well. We have sought funding for the initial programming and annual subscription to iCarol, a web-based software for crisis services. Through our work with national suicide prevention organizations, we know that this software is uniquely well-suited to assist in our work. The switch to iCarol will allow us to become even more helpful to people in need, as we will be able to:
Like our current phone system, our current computer system has served us well but is failing. Our server computer is losing function and must be replaced this summer.. Computers help us efficiently perform administrative tasks, but as noted above, computers are also a way of providing counseling services, particularly for teens and young adults.
We are also seeking funding for cellular phones to be used for follow up counseling and for off-site consultation by full-time staff for the on-site staff.
How is this approach to the issue unique or what gives it a high likelihood of success. The proposed technology is based on national standards and successful experiences at other crisis centers, particularly those which like our center are part of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The addition of iCarol and the integration of our computer and phone systems will allow us to glean additional information about the use of our services, including data on how many are using us in various ways such as by text or by phone.
Continued Funding: We are beginning a planning process related to the sustainability of services of our center. We are also participating in a national planning process through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org for sustainability of crisis services. Both processes will identify funding strategies and timetables. The national process will also develop templates for explanatory materials for funding sources both governmental and private sector.
Funding sources have been approached and what have the responses been.
This plan for technology and equipment that will increase our ability to provide counseling. That counseling service requires all the resources of our center: our physical location, our volunteer and paid staff, and more.
We value collaboration in all aspects of our work, including through the funding of our services, so our funding base is diverse. Throughout most of our history we have been funded in part through United Way and the University of Kansas Student Senate. The City of Lawrence also provides funding through the Special Alcohol Tax. We have identified several new partners to assist us in increasing capacity to provide free counseling to more children, teens, and adults across our large state of Kansas.
Technology Upgrade Budget
Our trained volunteer and paid staff improve the emotional well-being and safety of adults and children through readily available counseling, education, and information services. Headquarters provides services that are free, confidential, and availabe 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
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