On May 5, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) will award Eileen Davis, Vice President of Mass211 and Founder and Director of Call2Talk, the prestigious Lifesaver Leadership Award. The award will be presented to Ms. Davis at the AFSP’s annual A Sip in the Park event at Fenway Park.
AFSP’s Lifesaver Leadership Award honors and celebrates individuals or organizations who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and steadfast commitment to saving lives through suicide prevention.
2023 marks the 11th annual A Sip in the Park event, bringing together 250 guests for an incredible evening to support the lifesaving work of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Massachusetts Chapter. This year’s special event will feature food, wine, live music, and silent/live auctions at Boston's historic Fenway Park.
Ms. Davis founded Call2Talk in 2013 together with the United Way of Tri-County as part of the state-wide Mass2-1-1 information & referral platform, as a local help line for people in mental health crisis. Paul Mina, President & CEO of the United Way of Tri-County credits Ms. Davis with the growth and expansion of Call2talk stating,” Ten years later, Call2Talk is an extremely important, statewide mental health, emotional support, and suicide prevention program with over 100 volunteers and staff, and offices in both Framingham and Springfield. We join members of the AFSP in celebrating Eileen’s accomplishments and dedication to ensure suicide prevention services are available to all residents of the Commonwealth.”
Davis is also the founder and Chair of the MetroWest Regional Coalition for Suicide Prevention, alumnus of the MetroWest Health Foundation Leadership program of 2014, the 2010 recipient of the Massachusetts Leadership in Suicide Prevention Award, and was one of ten women to receive the 2022 Extraordinary Women Advancing Healthcare Award from The Women’s Edge.
Call2Talk has grown significantly under Ms. Davis’s leadership since launching the phone line almost ten years ago. In 2022, call-takers answered 110,498 calls, providing confidential, compassionate listening to assist people, including those who may be despondent or considering suicide.
In addition to answering phones, Call2Talk also answers texts through their partnership with the Crisis Text Line, providing texting access with the same level of support and information. Call2Talk also offers the following services as part of their program.
- TeleCheck, a phone check-in service for isolated seniors who are experiencing the onset of a sudden life change.
- LOSSteam MetroWest, working with more than 30 local police departments to offer immediate on-site peer emotional support to suicide loss survivors.
- The Cantor Jodi M. Schechtman Memorial Lending Library for books dedicated to bereavement, loss, grief, hope and renewal.
- Move4Ward, a support group for women who have lost a spouse or life partner to suicide.
“I am more than overwhelmed with gratitude to receive this award from the AFSP,” said Ms. Davis. “Call2Talk has been a labor of love and I am grateful to have been provided the opportunity to build and grow this program and support others experiencing emotional and mental health challenges. I am very proud of the collaboration we have with AFSP. The sharing of resources leads to it being one of the most gratifying partnerships we have.”
“We are excited to honor Ms. Davis and recognize her significant contributions to the field of suicide prevention in Massachusetts. Suicide and mental health affect so many of us on some level, be it our own personal struggles, or the struggles of a loved one. We are truly grateful for Ms. Davis’s dedication and collaborative efforts to bring life-saving mental and emotional health support to all,” said Jessica van der Stad, AFSP Massachusetts Executive Director.
Since the program opened in 2013, Call2Talk has relied on over 100 highly trained and professionally supervised volunteers who staff the phones and provide patience, care, and attention to callers in need of support. Call2Talk relies on volunteers, and new training sessions are scheduled several times a year. For more information visit the Call2Talk website at https://mass211.org/Call2Talk.
The Call2Talk help line and chat option are confidential, free and available 24/7/365. If you or a loved one needs support, you can reach out by calling or texting one of the numbers below.
2-1-1 Ext 25
or text C2T to 741741
Ms. Davis would like to remind anyone hurting, experiencing anxiety, or suffering emotional trauma, even if you are not at the point of self-harm, that Call2Talk is open and waiting for your call. If you know someone struggling with thoughts of suicide, don’t be afraid to talk to them about it. It’s important you let them know you are there, available, and ready to provide support.
For tickets and sponsorship opportunities for A Sip in the Park visit www.asipinthepark.org.
For more information about Call2Talk, or to learn more about volunteer opportunities, the lending library, LOSSTeam MetroWest, or Move4Ward, visit Call2Talk at https://mass211.org/Call2Talk.