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Life-Saving 988 Call Center Solution explained by Vibrant CIO at Dreamforce ‘23

Life-Saving 988 Call Center Solution explained by Vibrant CIO at Dreamforce ‘23

Coastal Cloud offered Behavioral Health Leaders a unique opportunity to understand Vibrant Emotional Health’s approach to incorporating Salesforce into the organization and the impact it has made on its mission.

Salesforce’s premier conference of the year, Dreamforce, is an opportunity for industry leaders, innovators, and experts to convene in person to discuss the transformative impact of technology and innovation on the future of their respective industries.

On day one of Dreamforce, Coastal Cloud hosted a private event for Behavioral Health Leaders to meet Grant Riewe, CTO of Vibrant Emotional Health. 

Vibrant is a national non-profit focused on expanding access to crisis mental and emotional health care resources. Through more than 20 national and local call, text, and chat hotlines—including the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline—Vibrant makes life-saving crisis support easily available to anyone in emotional distress.

About Grant

Salesforce Golden Hoodie award-winner at Dreamforce ‘23, Grant Riewe, is the Chief Technology Officer at Vibrant Emotional Health. As a technologist and strategist, Grant’s expertise spans all sectors but he focuses on organizations looking for step-changes in customer experience and engagement. 

Grant was featured in the main stage Dreamforce Service Keynote: Reimagine Service for the AI Era. Check that out here!

Vibrant Insights

One of the most inspiring ways we’ve witnessed Salesforce change lives is through Vibrant Emotional Health. Read the recap of our Dreamforce session with Grant to understand his approach to bringing Salesforce into the organization and the impact it has made.

1. What is 988 and how does it differ from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline that existed prior to it?
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) was federally funded in 2005, created through the merger of several privately funded 800 numbers. Vibrant was the administrator of NSPL from its inception and there were about 200,000 calls in that first year. As call volume grew throughout the years, lobbying increased for additional access, additional awareness, and a number that’s easier to remember. 988 evolved from those efforts and was established by the FCC in 2020 with the Hotline Designation Act. A year since the launch of the  988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, the line has answered nearly 5 million contacts.

2. What is Vibrant’s role?
As 988 administrators, Vibrant’s role is to provide call/text routing and a unified platform for the operators of the hundreds of crisis centers in the United States.

Until now, there has been no platform for behavioral health crisis calls, which require complex functions, including follow-up, potentially reaching out to emergency services and connecting with mobile crisis. – Dr. Tia Dole, Chief 988 Lifeline Officer at Vibrant Emotional Health

3. What happens when someone dials 988?
Via Salesforce Service Cloud, calls are routed through 988 by geographic routing, which is based on the area code and exchange (the first six digits of a phone number) of the inbound call. Next, calls are divided by national subservices including the VA, a Spanish-speaking subnetwork, the Trevor project, and others.

Coastal Cloud founders, Tim and Sara Hale, along with CRO Erik Dunnigan, join Grant at the Coastal Cloud Penthouse during Dreamforce.
Coastal Cloud’s Managing Director of Nonprofit, Kathy Brown, speaks during the Vibrant Emotional Health session at Dreamforce.

4. What part is Coastal Cloud playing in the Vibrant solution?
Coastal helped Vibrant develop and implement a fully unified customer relationship management platform for the 988 Lifeline contact centers so the caller, counselor, and case reviewer have access to the same information. The solution required the development of a user interface, a better way to document information and a method of providing resources to callers in their area.

Phase I included a strategic roadmap and subsequent implementation of Salesforce Service Cloud and Health Cloud. Service Cloud Console provides a way for counselors to receive calls, document notes, manage and schedule follow-ups and provide resources.

During Phase 2, Coastal included the introduction of chat and text features and the launch of the Spanish-speakers subnetwork.

Get more details on the 988 solution here. 

We are so grateful for Coastal Cloud. In the midst of so many moving parts, you all were the steady-state – delivering on time, thinking ahead and planning, being responsive, and always having a positive attitude. – Grant Riewe, CTO of Vibrant Emotional Health

5. What is your approach to providing the 988 technology to as many crisis centers as possible? And where are we now?
988 is a federally funded platform offered to crisis centers free of charge, but every center in the network provides multiple services and employs various pieces of technology. We partnered with Coastal to develop and implement a platform that can be expanded for the other programmatic services these centers provide.

Right now we are working with more than 20 centers, but our goal is 60 to 80 by the end of the year.

6. How do you see AI fitting into this solution?
We can use AIML to think about logistical applications like improving how we’re moving traffic through our systems, load balancing where the calls are being serviced in the network, and predictive forecasting of where calls and demand may come from.

Another possible application would be Generative AI, however, it is not yet sophisticated enough to respond to an individual who’s in crisis because that response must be very human, very emotionally and culturally driven. GenAI applications are best used for generating reference content that can be used by counselors. There are 226 crisis centers in the network, but there are also tens of thousands of community organizations focused on suicide awareness and suicide prevention. GenAI is ideal for creating a self-improving reference database for counselors based on the data from all those organizations.

Managing Director of Nonprofit, Kathy Brown, speaks with Grant Riewe, CTO of Vibrant Emotional Health, during Dreamforce.
The Coastal Cloud Penthouse was a hub for learning, networking, and reconnecting during Dreamforce.

If you didn’t make it to Dreamforce, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered.

If you’d like to speak with one of our nonprofit industry experts 1:1, please reach out and we’ll get you scheduled. As a top-tier Salesforce partner with a 5/5 Customer Satisfaction Rating, we’re here for you.

Need Support Now? 

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat You don’t have to be the one experiencing a crisis—it can be your friend, your family member, or any of your loved ones— and you can still contact 988 to get help.


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