Inside the 2023 AAS Conference: A Visit at Lines for Life’s Office
The American Association of Suicidology (AAS) – the accrediting agency for 988 – kicked off their annual conference for 2023 at the Lines for Life headquarters on Wednesday, April 19!
The AAS Conference is the largest gathering of behavioral health organizations, clinicians, researchers, attempt survivors, public health and government officials, crisis service professionals, and more. Held each spring, this conference attracts thought leaders and experts from around the country to discuss innovative tools and skills for suicide prevention and intervention.
As part of the conference activities, attendees got a special tour of our call center and offices, with all areas of Lines for Life staff coming together to represent the lifesaving work we do, day in and day out. Our office held over 60 people, all there for the same purpose: to make a statement as a nation, and as a community, that it’s okay to talk about mental health and reach out for support.
A Deeper Look at our Mental Health Initiatives
We highlighted a wide variety of Lines for Life’s programs throughout the conference, including:
Prevention & Postvention
In addition to highlighting our various public events, our staff presented on our programs dedicated to improving mental wellness, preventing suicide, and finding support after crisis. The breadth of their work illustrates that suicide prevention spans many industries and professions, from construction workers to mental health professionals and educators alike.
Our Training Team aims to reach as many people as possible, both inside our organization and out in the community. Visitors learned about our unique staff onboarding training, our strides to equip communities with suicide prevention tools like Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR), and our continuous efforts to create training geared toward supporting specific communities.
Lines for Life is proud to have over 30 lines currently in service, ranging from mental health crisis services to recovery resources to services for specific communities. Call-takers and supervisors from our Racial Equity Support Line, Recovery Center Hotline, Senior Loneliness Line, and more came together to discuss the impacts these lines are having when we provide the right support for those who are struggling.
Our Quality Assurance Team is dedicated to ensuring we provide excellent and consistent services to our callers, our staff, our organization, and the community. The team briefed AAS visitors on their collective efforts toward excellence by reviewing data, developing solutions, and implementing quality improvement goals throughout all our systems.
Attendees received a front row seat to a panel discussion with three of our YouthLine volunteers discussing the power of youth-delivered mental health and crisis support services.
“We’ve witnessed so many positive changes recently – changes including our expansion of YouthLine in an effort to build a pipeline of young people who want to do this work.” – Dwight Holton, Lines for Life CEO
Transforming the Mental Health Landscape
Lines for Life teams made a lasting impression on our AAS visitors! Attendees from the office visit talked about what they learned at Lines for Life throughout the conference and carried the energy and excitement with them. The conference was a powerful reminder that, when we come together and learn from one another, we can continue to make strides in suicide prevention and intervention to ensure everyone gets the support they need.
For Mental Health Awareness Month 2023, we’ll be continuing our efforts by highlighting ways to Start the Conversation around mental health. Join us and our community partners as we highlight the work, we’re doing to Start the Conversation in Oregon and beyond!