Arkansas Crisis Hotline

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Arkansas Crisis Center
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

We restore hope, empower people, and save lives through suicide awareness and crisis intervention services for those experiencing crisis in Arkansas.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

The Arkansas Crisis Center’s mission is to restore hope, empower people, and save lives through suicide awareness and crisis intervention services for those experiencing crisis in Arkansas. Formerly known as the Northwest Arkansas Crisis Intervention Center, our organization was originally founded in 1986 to serve as a suicide-prevention line, offering assistance to those facing any number of challenges. For the past 23 years our agency has depended on technology to operate and improve our confidential, 24/7 crisis hotline, critical incident response team, and community outreach/training efforts to achieve our mission.

Restore Hope

Advances in technology over the past 23 years have made it possible for the Arkansas Crisis Center to be the only 24 hour crisis hotline available to the entire state of Arkansas. In the absence of funding for professional services such as an advertising and marketing agency, the staff and volunteers were charged with the duty to reach out to as many Arkansans as possible to inform them of our service with the limited resources on hand. They put their creative sides to work and created memorable promotional items such as bookmarks, brochures, newsletters, and magnets using Microsoft Publisher. Publisher’s ease of use made it possible for them to create these materials without having to be a Graphic Design Professional. Thanks to Publisher, the Arkansas Crisis Center distributed over 33,000 pieces of promotional material to schools, churches, and other community organizations; restoring the hope that help is out there for anyone experiencing crisis in the state of Arkansas.

Empower People

The Arkansas Crisis Center empowers their callers by connecting them to the resources in their area. Collecting and organizing data for every agency in each of the 75 counties of Arkansas is a monumental task. Microsoft Access made it possible to update and organize this immense data with minimal effort. Thanks to Access, the Arkansas Crisis Center maintains a referral guide for their operators that contains over 800 agencies that can offer assistance to their callers.

After the effective use of Access to maintain the referral data, the staff at the Arkansas Crisis Center saw how Access could help them maintain other types of data. A Data Management Center was created to contain donor, event, outreach, materials distribution, volunteer, and newsletter mailing list information. The integration of all this information in one place eliminated the need for duplicate entries in other places. This efficiency increased their ability to provide information promptly and keep their stakeholders informed and in touch.

Save Lives

The Arkansas Crisis Hotline received over 5,000 calls in 2008, almost 600 of which involved a person who was suicidal. The agency’s operation is dependent upon the tools and capabilities provided by technology and many Microsoft products. The operation runs through Windows Small Business Server 2003. Without the ability to share and backup important data files and agency information, the Arkansas Crisis Center would be severely crippled. All computers run with Windows XP Professional. Every staff member utilizes the entire Microsoft Office suite to meet their part of the agency’s mission. Microsoft helps the Arkansas Crisis Center provide a superior level of care to their callers for whom many times it is a life and death situation.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery