Warmline Inc. (Warmline) is a peer-to-peer telephone support line for people with mental illness, which is run and staffed by people who have mental illnesses themselves. Warmline has recently celebrated ten years of providing service to the community. With plenty of anecdotal information about the benefits of their efforts in hand, they received a generous grant from the Faye McBeath Foundation which allowed them to contract with us, the Planning Council for Health and Human Services, to formally document and evaluate their services. The process was an effective collaboration among our evaluation team, Warmline staff, and an advisory committee of Warmline volunteers and board members.
To explore Warmline’s services and value to the community, data were collected from call logs, caller interviews, and interviews with mental health system representatives. The data show that Warmline is a valuable resource in the community for people who seek support anonymously during hours when other services are often not available. It is essential that Warmline is staffed by peers, who reportedly provide unique, non-judgmental empathy and support. To enhance Warmline’s services and reach, the report recommended that the hours of operation and/or the number of active phone lines be increased. The data from this report are intended to provide Warmline with documentation of their efforts, rich information, and recommendations to consider as they move forward.
Interested in finding out more about this innovative service? Our recently released report is available for you here!