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Our Front Door: NAMI Help Lines

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  1. Our Front Door:NAMI Help Lines Kate Farinholt & Deneice Valentine:NAMI Greater Baltimore Sita Diehl & Gracie Allen: NAMI Tennessee

  2. Objectives • To consider the value of NAMI Help Lines • To learn techniques and procedures for Help Line operation • To consider how to take Help Lines to the next level

  3. Why Help Lines? • Often the first contact with NAMI for consumers and families • We are the voice of consumers and families • We have gained expertise through personal experience • Effective help line interaction will: • Help the caller • Bring new callers into NAMI, • Grow the membership and program usage • Establish links between NAMI and other community organizations • Help establish your affiliate and state org as the local or state Voice on Mental Illness • Help fund “operations”

  4. Help Lines • Assistance to individuals • Telephone • Email • Face to face follow-up • Many forms: • Kitchen table • Dedicated NAMI members answering from home • Mobile Help Line • Cell phone with consumer/family counselors • Staffed Help Line • Coordinator • Family/consumer counselors • Paid or volunteer or intern • Crisis (24/7) or office hours • Coordinated with other help lines, or not “Helping in the name of NAMI”

  5. NAMI Help Line Services • Peer counseling • Issues related to mental illness and its effects • Consumer/family perspective – not professionals • Information • Mental illness • NAMI website information • Local/state materials • NAMI programs and services • Mental health services – array, access, quality • Community resources – health, housing, employment, legal • Referral • To NAMI programs and affiliates • To community mental health services • To other community organizations

  6. NAMI Help Line Services (cont.) • Advocacy • Individual advocacy • giving them the “keywords” and empowering them to go to the next step themselves • Helpline following up to advocate with a system directly • Systems Advocacy: • Tracking types and frequency of calls and complaints (to follow up; to substantiate complaints) • Helping caller to see where their complaint/issue fits within advocacy as well as getting them info and resources NOW

  7. NAMI Help LinesNational Overview • Help Line Survey: April/May 2007 • 71 NAMI organizations responded • 52% local affiliates • 34% regional help line • 66% local help line • 48% state organizations • 28% have toll free line

  8. Coordination of State/Local NAMI Help Lines N=19

  9. NAMI Help Line Types N=33

  10. 2006 Call Volume N = 29

  11. Help Line Funding Annual Budgets Funding Sources N=33

  12. Help Line Personnel N = 63

  13. Top Call Topics

  14. NAMI Metro Baltimore History: • 25 yrs ago, home phone • 15 yrs ago central office PT staff fielding and referring calls • some mail (postcards & newsletter) • 2-3 volunteer f/m, • outreach with personal phone

  15. Temporary Fix The Bottom Drops Out: Welcome to NAMI Metro Baltimore Snapshot: • Membership list corrupted; • no $; • under attendance • new programs (F2F and support model) • Disconnected volunteers • Little consistency • mailing list?

  16. Opportunity: Organizational Reassessment – • Finding NAMI: • Staying connected

  17. Multiple Goals

  18. Connecting People • Connections to Community Resources • Connections to NAMI not to individuals • Ongoing Contacts • Connections to programs

  19. Grow the Affiliate Program participants Volunteers Members Visibility Funding

  20. Uniformity and Quality Let’s Not Do it Twice Answers: • Resources • Basic Packet • Consumer Packet • C&A Packet • Provider Packet • Topical Resources Helpline Consistency • Training • Quality Assurance

  21. Call Specifics: ALL calls are possible helpline calls4-500 calls a month • simple calls for info • in-depth or crisis calls • and in- between Call length: 1min to 45 mins

  22. NAMI Metro Baltimore Staffing • “Tiers”: • Team; • Keeping people in touch with what we do • 4-5 Staff (25% of FT staff and varies with hourly staff) All FT staff must attend F2F and periodic Info Mtgs; • Interns/Americorps • Volunteers

  23. Training Basics: • Intake Info and Resource Packets Philosophy • Empowerment, • Peers, • Pulling People In; • Looking beyond the Callers’ Requests to What they Need and What we Can Give them

  24. Tiered Training and Duties Level 1:Orientation Level 2: Communication Level 3: F2F Level 4; most difficult calls. Review at periodic mtgs.: is there a resource or can we “write this up into a protocol”?

  25. Quality improvement? • Random follow-up calls 6-12 mths later (with survey instrument) • Training • Tiers • Oversight and listening in on calls

  26. NAMI Metro Baltimore Typical calls – wide variety – (crisis calls to general support) most popular initial topics: immediate housing, • imminent discharge, • basic info re illnesses, • support groups, • specific outreach for specific program, • referral to treatment “Real” topics: • case management; • array of services for which eligible; NAMI support and ed for that particular audience; • upcoming Info Mtgs or other events; free or reduced Rx; • what the system or the police etc can and cannot do;

  27. Issues • The more outreach we do, the more calls we get (IOOV, C&A, Ambassadors, Fairs; 911; BCARS referrals) • The more program participants we have, the more calls we get (for more info, etc)

  28. Follow up • COLLECT THE CONTACT INFO!!!! and the background data • Topical and customized resource packets all with NAMI program and time sensitive info • Mailing list 6 mths • Info re website and membership • Email listserv • Follow up at 6 mths explaining benefits of membership including web based resources. • Follow up AGAIN and AGAIN

  29. NAMI Metro Baltimore Record keeping • Intake Sheet; keep 5 yrs • Tracking: • Contact info; • referral to and/or interest in support and other NAMI programs; • issues, • demographics, • Dx, • relation, • etc. etc etc... USE this info to follow up with them as well as the demonstrate needs

  30. NAMI Metro Baltimore Budget/funding sources • Unrestricted • some program funding Reporting: • Internal • External

  31. NAMI Tennessee Resource Line • Statewide, toll free number • 5% (growing) email help line requests • Peer counseling/active listening • Information • Referral: • To NAMI TN regional staff (follow-up) • To local affiliates (support groups and classes) • To professional services • During business hours • 4 rings in resource line area, then rings throughout office • All staff prepared to answer help line calls • Call volume: 250/month average • Call length • 5 - 30 minutes

  32. NAMI Tennessee Resource Line: Personnel • Part time coordinator • 3 Paid peer counselors, part time • 4 Paid regional staff • Local affiliate volunteers (100+) • Consumer/family volunteers in state office • All other NAMI TN staff

  33. NAMI Tennessee Resource Line: Training • State office volunteers – Monthly or more often • Orientation to phones • Active listening • Suicide/crisis counseling • Mental health service system • Frequently used resources (housing, legal assistance, etc.) • Local affiliate volunteers • Fall leadership training • Winter consultation sessions • State convention

  34. NAMI Tennessee:Record Keeping • Always available via the Internet • No special software • Prevents duplication of caller records • Previous information easily retrieved during call • Types of consumer interaction • phone, • face-to-face, • email • Secure multi-tiered system • User designated by Affiliate President • User trained by Resource Line Coordinator • Confidentiality agreement and password protection • Keeps local affiliate data separated

  35. NAMI Tennessee: On Demand Reports Call Summary Diagnosis Topics Race/Ethnicity

  36. Next Steps: Help Line Improvement • Coordination between National, State, Local • Volunteer/staff recruitment and training • Supervision and quality assurance • Record keeping/reporting

  37. Help Line Limits: What is it that we cannot do? • Give medical or legal advice • Refer to particular providers • Use the help line contact data in fundraising • Other limitations

  38. How Help Lines Help NAMI • Bring in new members and program participants • Make NAMI more visible in the human service system • Source of revenue • Grant funds • Donations as callers get connected • Ethical limits of fundraising from callers

  39. Open the Door: Promoting NAMI Help Lines • Promotional materials • Print • Web-based • Through ALL your programs, services and outreach • Networking with other NAMI’s • Networking with other help lines • Networking with service providers

  40. Thank You!Questions? Kate Farinholt & Deneice Valentine NAMI Metro Baltimore 5210 York Rd Rear Baltimore MD 21212 410-435-2600 www.nami.org/sites/namimetrobaltimore Sita Diehl & Gracie Allen NAMI Tennessee 1101 Kermit Drive, Suite 605 Nashville TN, 37217 (800) 467-3589 http://www.namitn.org