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Case Study

Stop Soldier Suicide Organization Looks to Avaya to Help Veterans at Risk

Veterans have a 50 percent higher risk for suicide than those who have not served, yet many don’t find the help they need because it can be difficult, confusing or time-consuming,

The Pentagon reports show that U.S. military suicides reached their highest recorded level in 2018, clearly indicating a crisis affecting both civilians and veterans. Stop Soldier Suicide is the first national, veteranfounded- and-led nonprofit organization focused on military suicide prevention, serving all military service members, veterans and family members from every military branch regardless of discharge status.

“Veterans have a 50 percent higher risk for suicide than those who have not served, yet many don’t find the help they need because it can be difficult, confusing or time-consuming,” explained Rasheed Bellamy, Chief of Staff at Stop Soldier Suicide. “Reintegrating back into civilian life can be difficult, both from a psychological and financial standpoint. We’re here to help veterans find the resources they need to reintegrate better or simply deal with the stresses of everyday life as a civilian.”

The ACR solution provides stronger reporting and monitoring for us to identify certain risk factors, narrow down the list and start marketing to those at-risk clients with a service model that will help them become striving members of society,

Rasheed Bellamy

Chief of Staff at Stop Soldier Suicide

The Importance of Communications

Bellamy, who after being stationed overseas as an Air Force noncommissioned officer, worked as an IT Director for Spokane Public Schools, understood the importance of communications for creating the company’s desired level of impact. “Stop Soldier Suicide started on a couch in a New York City apartment. We were just three guys, former veterans, who wanted to get fellow veterans the help they deserved. In the beginning, it was just us passing out a cell phone number.”

Now, marking over 10 years of service, Stop Soldier Suicide has helped over 20 million individuals with resources including mental health and PTSD referrals, emergency financial aid, housing assistance and more. As the organization continually grew, the need for stronger communications and collaboration became inevitable. Stop Soldier Suicide required highperforming yet simple-to-use solutions that could enable them to better monitor and manage client interactions, provide greater insights for faster and more informed decision-making, and better connect staff to improve the employee experience. Being able to deliver on these needs—particularly, the first two—was imperative considering the nature of work at Stop Soldier Suicide.

In the end, the organization found Avaya Call Reporting (ACR) and Avaya IX™ Workplace to fit the bill.

Saving Time in an “Every Second Counts” Environment

With an increasing volume of interactions taking place across a growing number of channels, Stop Soldier Suicide needed a solution that could simplify and enhance call reporting and multichannel management. Avaya Call Reporting offered the best of both call reporting (unlocking key call data metrics that provide more complete call insights) and the freedom to customize capabilities as the nonprofit’s requirements evolved.

“The ACR solution provides stronger reporting and monitoring for us to identify certain risk factors, narrow down the list and start marketing to those at-risk clients with a service model that will help them become striving members of society,” said Bellamy. “This way, we’re not only increasing our own efficiency but helping veterans to not have that ‘needle-in-a-haystack’ feeling they often experience when seeking help.” In addition to this is the ability to identify fundamental call metrics like average hold time and answer time to improve the overall client experience.

Call recording for all inbound, outbound and internal calls also enabled Stop Soldier Suicide to drastically reduce time spent training case managers. “With ACR, case worker training previously based on roleplaying alone can now be supplemented with recordings of real-life conversations,” Bellamy explained. As a result, training for new case workers has dropped from four weeks to three weeks.

“This drove operational efficiencies and cost savings for training, but more importantly it enabled our staff to more quickly get out there and do what they do best: deliver the right resources to the right people to improve and save lives.”

Giving Employees the Experience They Deserve

From a three-person organization to a leading nonprofit with more than a dozen employees and growing, it was critical that Stop Soldier Suicide could enable experiences that mattered for those who dedicated themselves to improving the lives of others. “We’re a small team, but we need to be tightly aligned and connected to deliver the best outcomes,” said Bellamy, adding that the nonprofit also needed more flexibility and personalization for internal communications (25% of the organization’s employees work out of office almost full-time).

Avaya IX Workplace offered the nonprofit an integrated, personalized employee experience through a single, easy-to-use, next-generation workspace available anytime, anywhere on any device. In this way, case workers could freely collaborate with colleagues (i.e. share files/meeting notes, join or initiate conferences, view presence/availability) and connect with clients without having to call from their personal cell phone number. Rather, the solution would be available with the touch of a finger on each case manager’s smartphone.

Avaya IX Workplace also provides employees with the level of consumergrade technology that research shows is in high demand. The solution adapts to users’ preferred ways of working versus forcing them to fit into a box, allowing for better productivity and satisfaction. “The ability to blend communication and collaboration across physical and digital environments has been huge for us,” said Bellamy. “We’ve been able to eliminate functional and technology siloes to ensure the right information gets to the right person, with the right level of engagement, at the right time.”

A Better Solution for Those Who Have Served

Stop Soldier Suicide takes pride in being a dedicated veterans advocate, finding the right resources for the individual’s specific needs and staying with them every step of the way. Avaya Call Reporting and Avaya IX Workplace enable the nonprofit to truly deliver on this promise, gaining the critical call insights needed to ensure faster, smarter and potentially life-saving service while empowering employees with communications freedom to drive the best possible business outcomes.

Challenges

  • Continually improve process to alleviate stressors on the part of veterans

  • Continually improve process to identify veterans who are most at-risk

  • Training new case works takes four weeks

Value Created

  • Training time reduced from four to three weeks for new case workers

  • Mobile staff equipped to field calls to their office number on laptops and smartphones

  • Reporting better tracks calls both incoming and outgoing

Solutions

  • Powered by Avaya IP Office™

  • Avaya Call Reporting (ACR)

  • Avaya IX™ Workplace

  • Avaya Device as a Service (DaaS)

  • J100 Series IP Phones

About Stop Soldier Suicide

Stop Soldier Suicide is the first national, veteran-founded-and-led 501(c)3 nonprofit focused on military suicide prevention. Stop Soldier Suicide serves all military service members, veterans, and their family members from every branch and generation, regardless of discharge status.

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