It was our pleasure on October 27th and 28th to visit Heritage Hall Middle School. We had the rare treat of presenting seven HELP presentations simultaneously to seventh and eighth graders on the 27th and awarding Heritage Hall Middle School with the Audrey Hatley Award on the 28th. Heritage Hall received the award for incorporating HeartLine’s HELP initiative into its seventh and eighth grade curriculum last year. See the link for a gallery of photographs from the presentation.
A History of the Audrey Hatley Award
Each year, HeartLine recognizes a school that has placed special emphasis on health and safety education. Recipients incorporate any of a number of public safety initiatives, such as suicide prevention and awareness, mental health education, depression screenings, substance abuse awareness, and school violence awareness, into their overall curriculum. The award is named for Audrey Hatley, a fourteen-year-old girl who took her own life. Audrey Hatley’s story is a reminder of the importance of understanding and taking action on the warning signs of depression and suicide.
HELP–the Healthy Education for Life Program
HELP, HeartLine’s Healthy Education for Life Program, provides free, interactive training to increase awareness and empower students to prevent bullying and suicide among peers. Since its inception in 1997, HELP has reached over 41,000 students in the Oklahoma City metro area with its in-class presentations and seminars. HELP learning opportunities focus on dispelling the negative stigma of getting help for mental illness and suicidal tendencies, understanding the warning signs of suicide in peers, and learning how to take action so that at-risk students are identified and receive the help they need. ASK-LISTEN-TELL is the cornerstone of HELP and is a simple and easily remembered model that students can employ if they suspect a peer is depressed or suicidal.
In 2008, HeartLine’s HELP initiative was recognized by the American Association of Suicidology Best Practices Registry for suicide prevention. The initiative includes a 20-minute video, role playing activities, an interactive story board activity, and the cornerstone of HELP: the Ask-Listen-Tell model. HELP presentations also include a brief evaluation in which students have the opportunity to self identify as being at risk for depression or suicide.
For more information about HeartLine’s HELP initiative, please contact Lisa Harper, Director of Suicide Prevention and Outreach Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 405.840.9396 x114.
Today we present two more stories in our continuing series. These stories are true, and they’re the kind of stories we hear every day in the call center. At times, the work we do can be a little overwhelming–there is always more need than there are resources. But when we feel discouraged, we share stories like these, stories of people who have been helped through crisis by one of our call center specialists and one of our many partner agencies.
Enjoy these stories, and know that HeartLine is making a difference every day!
Marital Status: Married
HeartLine Number Called: 2-1-1
Need: The first words out of Don’s mouth were, “I need help.” He had never called 2-1-1 before but didn’t know where else to turn. He had just brought his wife home from the hospital after several weeks of diabetes complications. They had no food in the house, and almost all the gas in the car was gone, too. He didn’t have enough money to get gas or food, and kept telling the call specialist over and over that his wife had to have food because of her diabetic condition. “I just don’t know what to do.”
Outcome: At that time of day, no pantries in Don’s vicinity were open. The call specialist took his information and agreed to continue making calls for him. Two organizations were contacted, and Reaching Our City said it would try and help that evening. The call specialist followed up with Don the next day and learned that Reaching Our City had gone beyond its normal procedures and had delivered food to the couple that same evening.
Marital Status: Single
HeartLine Number Called: 2-1-1
Need: Linda was frantic. She called her DHS case worker at 4:00 p.m. on a Friday afternoon hysterical and with no idea how to get the help she needed. Linda was trying to make it on her own, but with a toddler and a seven-month-old baby, things were tough. She needed food and diapers for her baby but didn’t get paid again until the end of the next week. Her case worker suggested she try 2-1-1.
Outcome: Linda dialed 2-1-1 and was greeted by a caring HeartLine call specialist who was there to listen. The call specialist asked for Linda’s zip code and searched for referrals closest to her. Linda was given three referrals for her situation and was able to find the help she needed by 5:00 p.m. that same day.
*Though these stories are true, the names of the callers have been changed to protect their anonymity.
You can become a volunteer presenter of HELP presentations in middle schools and high schools! HeartLine is seeking volunteer presenters and have a training session scheduled for Saturday, November 5th. In this training session from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., volunteer presenters will learn the basic structure of HELP and will be trained in how to present the information and conduct the interactive activities that make up the curriculum.
Here’s a quick rundown of the requirements for a volunteer trainer:
- 6 hours of training
- Commit to a minimum of 20 volunteer hours per year
- Work within a flexible volunteer schedule that is mostly made up of daytime presentations
To sign up for this training, please contact Lisa Harper, Director of Suicide Prevention & Outreach Programs, by email at lharper@heartlineoklahoma,org or by phone at 405-840-9396 ext. 114. Pre-registration is required.
We were thrilled to have United Way volunteers at HeartLine last Saturday, October 15th for United Way Day of Caring! Volunteers worked to clean and restore the flower beds and plantings in our courtyard and left it looking MUCH better than they found it! It was nice to be appreciated for our efforts in the community and pampered with a clean courtyard!
One of the items we stress at HeartLine, especially to our call specialists, is the idea of self care. In any job or position that calls for the care of others, it’s important for the care provider to take time and actively restore his or her ability to do their caring jobs well. To help in this endeavor, we plan numerous self care and organzied fun activites for the staff at HeartLine. Today we offer a few images to give you a glimpse into this self care. These images are from HeartLine’s Cinco de Mayo party and a recent organized fun called the Spooky Lego Build. Lego scenes are depictions of class horror stories such as Frankenstein, The Birds, Hansel and Gretel, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
Whether you are in a helping profession or not, take some time to engage in a least one act of self care each day, whether it’s large or small. Believe us, you’ll be glad you did.
HeartLine’s Healthy Education for Life Program has a new look and feel! After countless hours of preparation and research, HeartLine’s Director of Suicide Prevention and Outreach, Lisa Harper, has rolled out the new suicide prevention program materials just in time for fall. The program redesign is much more interactive than its predecessor and includes a new video featuring several stories of those affected by suicide. The new version of HELP has already been introduced in several area schools and will be presented throughout the fall by HeartLine volunteers.
Interested in assisting HeartLine in its suicide prevention efforts? Here are two main ways you can help:
1. Set up a meeting between your local school principal or counselor and HeartLine. Contact HeartLine’s Director of Suicide Prevention & Outreach Programs, Lisa Harper, to arrange a meeting. In this meeting, Lisa will outline the program and help determine how best to get its information into the hands of your students. To contact Lisa Harper, email email@example.com or call 405-840-9396 x114.
2. Become a volunteer presenter of HELP presentations in middle schools and high schools. HeartLine is seeking volunteer presenters and have a training session scheduled for Saturday, November 5th. In this six hour session from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., volunteer presenters will learn the basic structure of HELP and will be trained in how to present the information and conduct the interactive activities that make up the curriculum. Here’s a quick rundown of the requirements for a volunteer trainer:
- attend the 6-hour training session
- commit to a minimum of 20 volunteer hours per year
- work within a flexible volunteer schedule that is mostly made up of daytime presentations
We leave you with the new HELP video preview. The video is used in every HELP presentation and is about 20 minutes long, but this 90-second preview will at least give you a sense of the overall style. All the people featured are telling their own stories. We invite you to help spread the message of suicide prevention by getting us connected with a school or becoming a volunteer presenter. Thanks in advance!
At its last regular meeting on September 20th, 2011, the Board of Directors of HeartLine was honored with a visit from Gayle Farley from the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. Gayle gave a brief report on the state of the foundation and presented HeartLine with its annual endowment disbursement check. We are greateful to the foundation for all it does to support the Oklahoma City non-profit community and are privledged to be able to partner with OCCF on a number of projects. At the moment, we are working on a capacity building project made possible by OCCF. Included in this project are a complete website redesign, an integration of our two donor management software programs, and funding to facilitate a strategic planning session. Thanks again to the Oklahoma City Community Foundation!
Today we present photos from the 10th annual Festival of Hope! The evening was a spectacular success, and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase some of Oklahoma’s most amazing volunteers, philanthropists, and agencies. Click the album cover below for the full gallery of images!
On September 14th, 29 teams participated in the inaugural Hope & Honor Invitational golf tournament benefitting HeartLine and the Folds of Honor Foundation. Because of the generosity of our sponsors, contributors, and friends, we were able to raise almost $20,000 in proceeds for both organizations.
The day began with presentation of the colors by an honor guard from Tinker Air Force Base. Following announcements, the shotgun start kicked off the day. Approximately 15 minutes after the tournament began, a hole in one was made on a hole sponsored by BC Clark, and Ray Foskin became the proud owner of a Rolex wristwatch, courtesy of BC Clark.
At the conclusion of the tournament, winners of first, second, and third place, along with winners of the longest drive contest and the closest to the pin contest were awarded prizes. Brief presentations concerning HeartLine and the Folds of Honor Foundation were also made in addition to remarks by the Oklahoma Adjutant General, Major General Myles Deering.
Below are links to galleries of the day’s activities and team shots. Each team was photographed on the 18th green as they made their way around the course.
HeartLine’s second annual Hope & Honor Invitational golf tournament is slated to be held on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 at Rose Creek Golf and Country Club. Check back for more details soon.
Today marks our last post in recognition of Mental Illness Awareness Week 2011. We hope you’ve taken the opportunity to learn more about mental illness and what you can do to help those who may be suffering. We leave you with four important statistics that relate directly to Oklahomans.
- Mental health problems affect 1 in 5 American families
- 60 to 90 percent of all suicidal behaviors are associated with some form of mental illness or substance use disorder.
- Oklahoma is ranked 13th in the country for deaths by suicide.
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-24 in Oklahoma.
These stats are sobering, but know that help is available. HeartLine call specialists are available 24 hours a day/7 days a week to help those in crisis. As a reminder, here are our numbers.
- 2-1-1 for information and referral
- 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-SUICIDE for suicide prevention
- 848-CARE for compassionate listening
- 1-800-522-4700 for the Oklahoma Problem Gambling Helpline
For more information on mental illness and mental health, visit the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) website here.
Today we present our second piece for the week on mental health. This blog post is from the National Alliance on Mental Illness and calls attention to the importance of mental health screening and follow-up care for teens.