Centerstone and Advantage Behavioral Health Partner with Dawson McAllister Association’s HopeLine to Provide Crisis Counseling

HopeCoaches to Receive Support from Centerstone to Counsel Youth and Young Adults Considering Suicide

Nashville and Spring Hill, Tenn.—Centerstone, the nation’s largest non-profit provider of community-based behavioral healthcare, Advantage Behavioral Health, a company of Centerstone, and Dawson McAllister Association’s (DMA) HopeLine, a faith-based call-in “coaching center” for youth and young adults, today announced that the companies have signed a partnership to provide crisis counseling to HopeLine callers in distress. As a part of the agreement, HopeLine HopeCoaches will connect callers who are assessed to be at risk for suicide directly to specialists at Centerstone’s 24-Hour Crisis Call Center.

“We wanted a strong relationship with our crisis response partner,” said Kathy Cook, Manager of Strategic Partnerships for DMA. “After meeting with the leaders of Centerstone, we felt confident that we had discovered a group of exceptionally experienced professionals who could support our callers in need of mental health support, especially for callers considering suicide as the answer to their problems.”

Utilizing technology including chat, text messaging, and of course, the telephone, HopeCoaches seek to provide sound, relevant advice to callers’ situations in a faith-based environment. Since 1991, the HopeLine has answered thousands of calls with the goal of guiding callers toward handling their struggles without turning to self-destructive behaviors. At Centerstone’s Crisis Call Center, which is managed by Advantage Behavioral Healthcare, specialists trained in counseling individuals across a spectrum of mental health needs assist callers in obtaining appropriate follow-up behavioral health services.

“The HopeLine is privileged to have dedicated volunteers who are trained to listen, encourage, and offer Biblical guidance to our callers,” said Dave Anderson, Director of Rescue at DMA. “However, due to the very serious nature of some of the calls we receive, DMA decided to seek out the highest level of behavioral health expertise possible in order to best help our callers in crisis situations. We were fortunate to find that expertise in Centerstone and Advantage.”

To begin the partnership, Centerstone’s mental health counselors trained DMA HopeCoaches to formally assess a person’s risk for suicide. When an at-risk caller phones in, he or she is then connected to a Centerstone specialist in a “warm transfer.” A warm transfer means that HopeCoaches personally introduce callers to Centerstone specialists via three-way connections to ensure that calls are never dropped.

“We are honored to have been entrusted by Dawson McAllister to take on this very important role in HopeLine’s outreach to youth in crisis,” said Debbie Cagle, CEO of Advantage Behavioral Healthcare. “Our Crisis Call Center is dedicated to seeing individuals through their darkest moments and helping them to achieve resiliency and recovery from mental health distress. Suicide is never the answer to a problem, and we strive to get people the behavioral healthcare they need to discover that for themselves.”

Initially designed to only serve callers at-risk for suicide, the partnership of Centerstone and DMA’s HopeLine has potential to be expanded to cover callers experiencing other types of mental health distress.

“The ability to have someone available at any time of day that has a deep and professional understanding of the psychology of a potentially suicidal young adult is an real advantage to both our HopeCoaches and our callers,” said Walt Kean, the Call Center Manager for the HopeLine’s Chattanooga, TN location. “Our partnership with Centerstone and Advantage is an incredible advantage in advancing our outreach of offering help, hope, and rescue to a broken and hurting generation.”

About Centerstone

Centerstone, a not-for-profit organization, is the nation’s largest provider of community-based behavioral healthcare. With a history that spans over fifty years, Centerstone provides a full range of behavioral health and related educational services to more than 69,000 individuals of all ages and their families annually. Children, adolescents, adults, seniors, and families all receive help from a multitude of different programs in more than 120 facilities and 150 partnership locations in Indiana and Tennessee. Centerstone is accredited by The Joint Commission in Indiana and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) in Tennessee. For more information about Centerstone, please call toll free at 888-291-4357.

About Advantage Behavioral Health

Advantage Behavioral Health, a regional not-for-profit behavioral health managed care company owned by Centerstone, brings an integrated business model and innovative vision to its communities, and individuals with severe mental illness for the provision of behavioral health services. Collaborating with members and providers alike, Advantage uses innovative strategies to produce solid healthcare solutions. For more information about Advantage, please call 866-781-8004.

About the Dawson McAllister Association

Dawson McAllister Association is a not-for-profit organization which brings a powerful voice of clear thinking and right values to its audience of teens and young adults. In 1990, Dawson determined that radio could be a powerful tool for reaching the masses and touching the lives of those in vital need of encouragement and guidance. Currently, Dawson McAllister Live is aired every Sunday night on over 80 mainstream (Top 40) radio stations, attracting a listening audience of 325,000 plus each week. In addition to the program Dawson McAllister Live, a new five-night-a-week program called Dawson McAllister Late Nights was launched in April 2008. The off-air HopeLine was established in 1991 as an extension of the radio show allowing listeners the opportunity to speak one-one-one with a trained volunteer. As of 2008, The HopeLine has 400 volunteers who offer support and referrals to an approved community of partners.