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Boys Town National Hotline Partnership Impacts Omaha Community


The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. This national network contains over 160 local crisis centers, including the Boys Town National Hotline®. To spread the word about the services the Hotline provides, Boys Town looked to local organizations that are dedicated to improving the community and supporting those in crises.

The Boys Town National Hotline reached out to Omaha Public Schools (OPS) Counselor's Office to brainstorm ways that the Hotline can get its word out about its services. While this conversation was occurring, Bob Giddings, Hotline Development Officer, was working with Nebraska Medicine about how they could help the Hotline and impact the Omaha community. This collaboration resulted in Nebraska Medicine funding Hotline materials for OPS students, a community that could greatly benefit from the support of the Hotline.

Boys Town National Hotline materials were distributed to every Omaha Public School. These materials included banners, posters, pencils, Hotline wallet cards and Hotline flyers. In addition, Boys Town also provided a series of four free parenting workshops that were provided to OPS parents. These two initiatives, communicating information about the Hotline and the free parenting classes, came together to yield successful results.

Communication between the Omaha Metropolitan community and the Hotline increased substantially through this partnership, with emails to the Hotline up 208 percent, online chats up 200 percent and texting up 84 percent. In addition, the overall contacts to the Hotline were up 68 percent from January to June in 2016.

Being able to partner with one of the largest hospital organizations in Omaha and the largest school district in Omaha was instrumental for Boys Town's development and outreach. It allowed the Hotline to reach thousands of children and teens in the community that wouldn't have reached out before. It not only aided the community, but it also built a relationship between all three organizations.

"It was so rewarding knowing that communication about Hotline services was going to reach over 80,000 students in our own community," said Ginny Gohr, Director of the National Hotline. "I cannot thank Nebraska Medicine enough for the donation to make this happen and Omaha Public Schools for their willingness and commitment to provide Hotline information to all of their students and parents in a more formal, organized way."

Congratulations to the Boys Town National Hotline for its successful partnership and thank you to Nebraska Medicine and Omaha Public Schools for your dedication to providing emotional support to the Greater Omaha Metropolitan area. Together, we can all prevent suicide.