State Capacity Building Initiative
About The RFP
This RFP is a one-year only funding opportunity to help expand Lifeline capacity in one or more states, and raise awareness of capacity and membership needs among all states. This opportunity is administered by Vibrant Emotional Health with funds designated within the Lifeline grant, and with support from NASMHPD.
The funding is intended to be provided to states directly. Vibrant Emotional Health is the administrator of the grant opportunity, but will not have influence on how states designate a center (or centers) in their region as partners in this RFP.
Applications are due no later than August 31, 2017. Directions and application requirements are listed within the RFP. Frequently asked questions will also be added to this page regularly.
I am part of a crisis center that wishes to be considered for the RFP. Who do I reach out to?
The RFP is meant to be awarded directly to states, and the Lifeline and Vibrant Emotional Health does not have any influence on how states designate a center or centers in their region as partners for this application. Please contact your SPRC state suicide prevention coordinator at http://www.sprc.org/states
What is our state’s in-state answer rate?
You can find your in-state answer rate in the appendices section, “Appendix 5: Answer Rate.”
Does our center meet the criteria for an answer rate of less than 70% in-state?
As long as your center is located in a state with an in-state answer rate less than 70%, you meet the eligibility requirements. However, the applying state determines which centers to include in their RFP application.
Is my state eligible to apply for this RFP if our in-state answer rate is not below 70%?
If your state has an in-state answer rate higher than 70%, it is not eligible for this specific funding opportunity.
When are applications due?
Applications are due Thursday, August 31, 2017, 8:00 PM EST.
Who can I contact for additional data needed to apply?
For any additional data please contact Nicole Lima at [email protected]
It appears that call volume has increased recently. What is the cause of this increase and what is the projected increase for the upcoming year?
There has been an increase in call volume nationally. Several events may have contributed, but there is no direct correlation to any one cause. Call volume is expected to increase by 10% from October 1, 2017, to September 30, 2018.
Who do I contact if I want more information about which areas of my state have the highest number of calls being answered out-of-state?
For any additional information please contact Nicole Lima at [email protected]
What other Lifeline centers are in my state?
You can find centers that are a member in your state by going to the Crisis Center Map on the Our Network page: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/our-network/
In the RFP, a state must have at least one crisis center that is a member of the Lifeline and actively taking calls by January 1, 2018, in order to be eligible. My state already has active Lifeline centers, and is planning to add more. However, those additional centers will not take calls by January 1, 2018. Can those additional centers be part of this RFP?
Yes, both existing Lifeline members and centers undergoing the membership process can be named by the applying state as funding recipients of the RFP, and as part of the state’s implementation plan. However, these additional centers will not be able to receive their awarded funding until they are Lifeline members and begin actively accepting Lifeline calls.
Does the grant money awarded have to be spent by September 30, 2018? If our state is awarded the full $460,000, can we use that to sustain call volume after September 30, 2018?
The RFP requires that states apply for the exact amount they need in order to attain the 90% in-state answer rate by September 30, 2018. If you state can reach this goal with less than the full grant amount, then only include in the budget the exact amount needed. It is not advisable to include unspent funds in your plan for sustaining a 90% or higher in-state answer after September 30, 2018.
Does funding have to go to the state mental health block grant-holder, or can any state agency apply?
It depends. Please reach out to [email protected] so you can discuss further.
Will new crisis centers be covered by this grant if they can become members by January 1, 2018?
The state must have at least one center taking calls by Jan 1, 2018, in order to be eligible. If the state already has centers that are members of the Lifeline, it is eligible. If more centers become members after Jan 1, 2018, you can distribute funds to them once they obtain membership, which could be after Jan 1, 2018.
Can funding be used to help a new center obtain accreditation and pay for fees associated with it?
Yes. Lifeline also provides crisis centers with an annual stipend of $1500 which can be used towards this as well.
Can the grant be used to pay call center staff salaries?
Yes. If that is how you plan to spend the funds, include that in your application’s budget and explain how you will pay their salaries after September 30, 2018.
How are funds distributed?
Vibrant Emotional Health will give the funds to the awarded state(s), which will then distribute it to their Lifeline center(s), as detailed in their application.
Are centers without a local Lifeline center given preference?
Do we need to exhaust all funds within the calendar year?
Please budget for the exact funds you would need in order to meet 90%> by September 30, 2018. If you need less than $460,000, then only apply for what you need.
What if it doesn’t seem possible to get the rate to 90% or more answered within the given time frame?
Fill out the application to the best of your ability and identify this as an area of concern. Include possible strategies for overcoming this.
If you are funded and by the end of the funding period you have not met the 90% answer rate, what are the penalties?
There are no specific penalties for not reaching the desired answer rate, but it is hoped that all grant recipients will work in good faith during their funded period to achieve this goal and to continue to maintain it with their plan for sustainability. Vibrant Emotional Health will work closely with the recipient to provide technical assistance to help to achieve the goal through the funding period.
Reaching a 90% in-state answer rate within the one year that the grant allows may not be attainable for our state. While we plan to acknowledge in the application the requirements of 90% in-state answer rate, would the application be considered if we proposed a smaller percentage increase (20% or 30%)? How would doing so affect our application scoring?
All applications will be considered with preference given to those applicants who can demonstrate the biggest impact on the Lifeline in-state answer rates within the first year of the grant and beyond. Specific scoring criteria, other than what is included in the RFP cannot be shared.
Can we use any portion of the proposed budget for the grant on evaluation? If so, is there a maximum amount that may be used?
You are free to submit an application that includes what you need to be successful in reaching and sustaining the goal of answering at least 90% of calls in-state. If evaluation is an important component of that, you can include it. There are no specific restrictions as long as the request is reasonable and allows for other expenses necessary to achieve the desired answer rate.
Does the Lifeline allow centers that use voice over internet to be part of the network?
Yes, centers can use VOIP, so long as it is up to a quality standard and will be subject to testing by Lifeline IT.
What if a specific area of the state is over 70% in-state, but the state itself is under 70% in-state answer rate? Is that area eligible?
It’s the state’s answer rate that determines eligibility, not individual areas of the state. As long as the state is below 70%, then the state and all of its centers are eligible.