Jill Wolski: Suicide prevention and social media innovator

DocForeman: I’m here with Jill Wolski, an innovator and thought leader in technology and suicide prevention. Jill, can tell me the story of how you helped found  www.crisischat.org?

Wolkski: At our crisis center we started receiving unsolicited emails from people in crisis. People in pretty serious crisis situations, with problems like domestic violence, homelessness, suicidality, and in particular calls from young women and teenage girls. The phone service we were providing wasn’t meeting their needs and we needed to think of innovative ways to reach them. So, I spoke with my boss about an idea I had to use internet chats, and he said, “I think there’s something here, and I think it’s gonna be big.” I was encouraged to give a speech about this at a conference in Chicago and there was a lot of interest from key people in places like Seattle, Austin, Mississipi, all over the U.S. And iCarol started developing their service. And ContactUSA said “Yes, we think this is the future and we want to support it,” and they invested in it. My agency supported me, and I took a lead role, but so many agencies and people were involved. We pulled the best of what was already out there and the portal started in 2010. In April of 2011 the volume just skyrocketed. It became viral.

DocForeman: Do people who are suicidal really go on-line to chat, or is this just a trendy service to offer?

Wolski: Yes. Especially teenagers and young people in their 30s. It can be very hard for teenagers to reach out to an adult. They don’t have the communication skills to talk face to face to an adult about these very serious problems they are facing. In our Crisis Call Centers we talk about something called an abandonment rate, which is the number of calls you can’t get to, for some reason. A typical crisis call center wants to keep their abandonment rate under 5%. On www.crisischat.org the service is so popular we are consistently overwhelmed with the number of crisis chats coming through, especially in the evening. Overall, our abandonment rate is 58%, but in the evenings, due the high volume, it’s 65-75%. Clearly, there is a huge, unmet need for this kind of public service.

DocForeman: What are the biggest challenges that are facing the adoption of technology-based solutions in crisis work?

Wolski: Crisis centers are already so sparsely funded that it is really challenging to bring on such a labor intensive service unless they know that there is a secure funding source. Because once they start a service like www.crisischat.org, you can’t just abandon it, and the people who are depending on it. This is a general challenge faced by nearly all crisis centers.

But, more specifically, because using technology and crisis work is still in the early adoption stage, we are still building professional momentum behind using on-line and text-based crisis intervention.

Also, the chat platform is exposing call center responders to more severe reports of suicidal feelings, as well as a broader and more severe spectrum of mental health problems than ever before. Things like cutting, binging, bullying, homelessness, sexual assault, and substance abuse. Now, for example, we have more cases like someone with an eating disorder coming on to chat so they won’t purge. It’s things like that, which you don’t see as much in a traditional phone call.

DocForeman: Where are the opportunities in technology and crisis work?

Wolski: I think that we need to do much more of what we are doing. We need to expand the modalities. Chat is just the beginning. We need to provide as many different ways for people in crisis to easily reach out for help and get a compassionate connection with another human being as possible. Technology is just a tool for facilitating a life-saving human connection. The key is to make it easy. Calling a crisis line is so hard for so many people.

DocForeman: If you could send one message to the public about crisis work and technology, what would that be? 

Wolski: That it reaches people who would not reach out in any other way. There is research from the Australian crisis chat pilot. They found that 38% of the people on chat had never reached out to anyone before, and would not reach out except through a chat portal. What we’re getting here is a previously un-touched population of people in crisis, often young women. We’re providing service to people who, before, had no other mental health support. It works.

Jill Wolski works as the Crisis Center Director at  Family and Children’s Service of the Capital Region for last seven years. She has an M.S.W. from Hunter College School of Social Work. Her personal mission is to connect people who need help with people who can help.

Crisis Chat
by: acf54

Fri, July 6 2012 » Uncategorized » 4 Comments

Thank you, Red Cross

I had a great time at the NOLA Red Cross this evening discussing how to use body language to help people in crisis. I promised all the wonderful people there that I would post my slides…Mostly so that some really super audience members in the front row would promise to stop taking notes, relax, and enjoy the presentation. Unfortunately the file size is so large I can’t upload it without help from my  IT Guru, Tony Wood. We promise to keep working on this. Because the super-achieving members of my audience *deserve* it.

In the meantime: Thanks for having me!

Tue, June 19 2012 » Uncategorized » No Comments

#HCSM asks, “Do *YOU* have a #socialmedia policy?”

  1. HealthSocMed
    TOPIC 2 – Do you have a SM policy for you (or your org)? Is it more about risk management or is it a true guide? What would you edit? #hcsm
  2. HealthSocMed
    We will assume all tweets within #hcsm during the following hour are your own & not those of your employers (unless specifically declared).
  3. PracticalWisdom
    T2: We can and do help Patients find accurate information #HCSM http://bit.ly/Kdr9cG G8 #epatient @HugoOC #s4pm Thankful #hcsmanz
  4. danamlewis
    T2 live at #hcsm – talking policies for social media, or lack thereof. How’s your policy? If you could change it, how would you edit?
  5. danielg280
    T2: Yes, we have a policy. For us it’s mostly about rules of the road: reminders about privacy, what not to do #hcsm
  6. amandasxi
    T2: Trying to make my own personal policy; will be researching med edu SM policies for a research project #hcsm
  7. RichmondDoc
    T2 My employer doesn’t have a formal SoMe policy, but suspect one is coming. Hope it will be guidance, not restrictions. #hcsm
  8. drsuzyyhall
    T2: Our (private) practice has a small group of MDs who engage on behalf of the practice. ‘Rules’ are discussed, but no ‘policy’..yet #hcsm
  9. tahughes
    T2: A good policy for anyone is don’t tweet (or FB or Google ) something that you don’t want the whole world to see. #hcsm
  10. Veronica1231
    T2: Would be interested to see #SoMe policy from other orgs…haven’t seen a great example of a plan both protects and encourages #hcsm
  11. LawyerCas
    T2 from a legal perspective, SM policies should include all 3. Recent cases re dismissal should be considered and incorporated #hcsm
  12. JonathanStweetr
    @HealthSocMed T2. We have a policy for staff users. For the public, we direct them to New York City’s http://on.nyc.gov/JaOkTT #hcsm
  13. stephaniethum
    T2 Policies R evolving w/hospitals I’ve consulted with, particularly as SM continues 2 fragment new platforms like Pinterest emerge. #hcsm
  14. RichmondDoc
    T2 I helped w/ a group that put together @STFM_FM’s guidelines http://www.stfm.org/resources/socialmedia.cfm Tried to make them open/accessible, not punitive. #hcsm
  15. joshdbrett
    T2 A guide suggests that it is part strategy for how to use it to advance business objectives. Policy suggests it is to restrict use. #hcsm
  16. JonathanStweetr
    @healthsocmed T2. Side note: every post I do for work on FB or Tw must be previously reviewed by 2 levels! #hcsm
  17. PracticalWisdom
    T2: A 12-Word Social Media Policy http://socialmedia.mayoclinic.org/2012/04/05/a-twelve-word-social-media-policy/ @FarrisTimimi #hcsm
  18. RichmondDoc
    T2 Also fun to note: all the individual phrases in these guidelines are < 140 characters = tweetable. :) http://www.stfm.org/resources/socialmedia.cfm #hcsm
  19. HealthSocMed
    Don’t forget the second part of T2 – what would you edit from your org’s policy, if you could? (And why don’t you?) #hcsm
  20. PracticalWisdom
    T2: Don’t Lie, Don’t Pry
    Don’t Cheat, Can’t Delete
    Don’t Steal, Don’t Reveal @ FarrisTimimi
  21. crgonzalez
    T2 The best policy is to provide concrete examples of what to do rather than a laundry list of don’ts #hcsm
  22. Julian_Bond
    MT @danamlewis T2 #hcsm – talking policies for social media, or lack thereof. How’s your policy? If you could change it, how would you edit?
  23. tahughes
    T2: I can edit my own policy whenever I want. To edit the org policy, I must persuade others to agree with my suggested edits. #hcsm
  24. JonathanStweetr
    @HealthSocMed T2. Part 2: our policy gives no proactive guidance (i.e. be coloquial, engage at patient’s level) #hcsm
  25. timbigfish
    T2. What I’d recommend most ppl edit in the policy: More do. Less don’t. Start with “do this.don’t do that.” #hcsm
  26. danielg280
    T2: One of the most challenging areas is figuring out how to address the recent NLRB guidance on employee protected speech in policies #hcsm
  27. amandasxi
    T2: I would like to see at least a small part of the #meded curriculum dedicated to meaningful use/best practices for SM #hcsm
  28. PracticalWisdom
    T2: To change these SoMe polices must be hard. Change in Hospitals seems like it comes slow. @tahughes #hcsm
  29. crgonzalez
    T2: It helps to create SM rules assuming you were apprenticing a beginner with actual to-do activities #hcsm
  30. stephaniethum
    T2 I’m hearing edits to SM policies may be widespread w/emerging Nat’l Labor Relations Board guidance. #hcsm
  31. michaelbmoore
    @HealthSocMed Agreed, nice job on T2 #hcsm chat 2nite…can’t wait to see the transcript of that!
  32. HealthSocMed
    That’s a wrap on tonight’s #hcsm – thanks, everyone, for your insights! See you next Sun @ 8pmCT. Tonight’s transcript: http://bit.ly/hcsm51312

Sun, May 13 2012 » Uncategorized » No Comments

The ROI of #HCSM is *blank*

  1. HealthSocMed
    T3 – an oldie but a goodie. Answer first reaction, then you can debate the semantics of the topic & the concept behind it. Ok? :) #hcsm
  2. danamlewis
    T3 live at #hcsm – ROI. HCSM. first thoughts? (Fill in the blank, *then* you can complain about having an ROI topic ;)).
  3. RichmondDoc
    T3 The [ideal] ROI of HCSM is: more informed HCPs, more involved and activated pts, a more responsive/effective health care system. #hcsm
  4. Colin_Hung
    T3: Does #hcsm need an ROI that can be measured? You can’t measure friendship, good advice & connections.
  5. danielg280
    T3: engaged, empowered, and grateful patients; engaged staff who more effectively collaborate with colleagues #hcsm
  6. PracticalWisdom
    T3: ROI perhaps malcome Gladwell Mavens are “information specialists”, or “people we rely upon to connect us with new information.” #hcsm
  7. timbigfish
    Just one? T3. better informed patient; improved health outcomes; more meaningful dialogue btwn informed patient & savvy provider…#hcsm
  8. marksalke
    T3: HCSM ROI is the power of the collective voice: communicating msg, disseminating info, comforting the individual. #hcsm
  9. stephaniethum
    T3 Although this Q is still the equivalent of the F-bomb in the #hcsm Tweetchat, you *have* to ask about ROI. It’s still a business. #hcsm
  10. PracticalWisdom
    T3: ROI= We Also have Connectors, people who “link us up with the world people with a special gift for bringing the world together.” #hcsm
  11. stephaniethum
    T3 SM is just one branch on a health care comm tree. It may be unfair to single it out, but it’s practical to look at effectiveness. #hcsm
  12. JonathanStweetr
    @healthsocmed T3. In my workplace ROI must be quantitative and measurable. Feel good statements/generalizations not allowed. #hcsm
  13. michaelbmoore
    @PracticalWisdom @k8lin But not always. sometimes patients are still angry (but wrong), sometimes patients don’t get better… #hcsm T3
  14. michaelbmoore
    @PracticalWisdom I agree completely. I just don’t know if we can (would even want to) quantify that. It’s a great question. #hcsm T3
  15. HealthSocMed
    That’s a wrap on tonight’s #hcsm – thanks, everyone, for your insights! See you next Sun @ 8pmCT. Tonight’s transcript: http://bit.ly/hcsm51312

Sun, May 13 2012 » Uncategorized » No Comments

What do #patients want lurking #providers and HC orgs to take away from #HCSM?

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Mon, May 7 2012 » Uncategorized » No Comments

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