The Building Georgia's 988 Capacity Project will use grant funds to expand call center workforce at the Georgia Crisis and Access Line (GCAL), Georgia’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) vendor, where 988 calls will be answered. NSPL calls are projected to increase from 50,000 calls per year to 240,000 calls and texts/chats. Funds will support 32 additional call center staff, resulting in an estimated 3,840 more calls per week being answered.
GCAL serves both insured and uninsured individuals experiencing a mental health, substance use or intellectual and developmental disability-related crisis 24/7/365 across all 159 Georgia counties. 79.68 percent (8,645,280) of Georgia’s population are age 15 years and over. 40.55 percent of Georgians live in rural areas.
Behavioral Health Link, Inc., the operator of GCAL, will hire new staff, upgrade technology, and streamline processes to reduce call burden on staff and allow faster response times to individuals in crisis. These efforts will continue beyond the 988 rollout. Once fully staffed this could result in 399,000 calls being answered in the two-year lifetime of this grant. As a state participant in SAMHSA’s Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families, Georgia’s continued collaboration with the Veterans Suicide Line will be an area of focus in the 988 rollout.
DBHDD has set GCAL performance metrics to be aligned with the grant KPI’s and are as follows: filling vacant front line staff positions within ten weeks; = 1% downtime; average speed to answer (ASA) of = 30 seconds, and abandonment of = 5%. Follow up for suicidal individuals will be added as a metric. DBHDD’s Project Evaluator and other project staff will meet with GCAL regularly to review metrics, evaluate data, and conduct continuous quality improvement.
(1) Supporting GCAL to achieve above noted metrics through funding additional staff and identifying technological and process efficiencies.
(2) Answering all 988 calls, texts, and chats that originate in Georgia
(3) Achieving and maintaining a 95% call answer rate for NSPL/988
(4) Identifying long term funding strategies to support sustainable high-quality 988 service
Proposed number of calls to be completed: 399,000
Federal funding request for this application is $2,927,923