Ann Ahearn – Administrative Assistant
In 2010, Ann began her non-profit career as an Asset Management Specialist for the West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing. Before joining Lifeline she worked with both the national Disaster Distress Helpline and LifeNet. Prior to joining the non-profit sector, Ann spent more than 20 years in a variety of administrative roles in the legal, building services and environmental services industries.
Naomi Carey, LMSW – Special Projects Assistant
Prior to joining the Lifeline team in 2010, Naomi worked for more than ten years with the NYC based crisis hotline LifeNet, first as a crisis line worker, then later in a training, support and resource management role. Naomi draws on her direct service experience to guide her in her work at the Lifeline as she collaborates with crisis centers in an effort to facilitate a risk assessment of those who reach the Lifeline outside our telephony services.
Karen Carlucci, LCSW – Standards, Training and Practices Manager
Karen began working for LifeNet in 1997 and has been with the Lifeline since 2010. Graduating with a BA in Human Resources and an MSW from New York University’s Silver School of Social Work, Karen’s work has primarily been focused in the areas of mental health, addiction, life transitions and professional development. She has worked in direct practice and as a supervisor, manager and director. She maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Manhattan and is an adjunct professor at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work.
Chicong Chen – Web Developer
Chicong has been working in web development for more than two years. Before coming to the Lifeline, he worked for email marketing and technology companies such as Strongmail and Acxiom. He uses his professional skills to help companies for maintaining/developing websites and applications. His goal is to provide companies with most updated web development technology.
John Draper, Ph.D. – Project Director
John is a psychologist who, for over 20 years, has been helping people in non-traditional service settings—in their homes or on their phones—providing crisis intervention and/or suicide prevention assistance. John became the founding director of LifeNet, NYC’s premier crisis call center, in 1996. The success of LifeNet provided John with the experience needed to oversee the administration of the Lifeline since 2004.
Marshall Ellis, M.A. – Associate Project Director
Marshall helps to identify and promote strategies for network crisis centers on sustaining capacity, strategic partnership development and outreach to high risk communities. Marshall came to the Lifeline from CrisisLink, where he developed and implemented the organization’s fund development strategy, and led the publicity, marketing and public education activities. Marshall holds a Masters of Public Administration degree in Nonprofit Management from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Appalachian State University.
Bob Kessler – Director of Information Technology
In his role, Bob brings over 30 years of IT experience to help provide vision and leadership to the Lifeline. Bob oversees a team of IT professionals, all working together to ensure that the Lifeline is using technology to the fullest in supporting its mission of connecting callers that may be in crisis with local crisis centers.
William Liu – Data Manager
Will manages Lifeline’s call routing data reports, and data analysis. He believes that data should be simple, understandable and useful. In the past seven years, Will was the lead analyst for the City of San Diego’s homeless data, a business analyst for Rady Children’s Hospital and a Peace Corps volunteer. His goal is to use technology to help make the world a better place.
Carole Ludwig, M.S. – Senior Network Development Manager/Veterans Crisis Line Manager
Passionate about mental health and helping others, Carole helps to grow the Lifeline with the recruitment of crisis centers and helps to develop and expand member resources. Before joining the Lifeline in 2008, Carole worked for seven years for a diverse range of organizations, including academic institutions and non-profits. Carole holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Management and Human Resource Development and hopes to change the world, one day at a time.
Gillian Murphy, Ph.D. – Director of Standards, Training, and Practices
Gillian oversees all aspects of standards and training development for the Lifeline. Prior to joining the Lifeline, Gillian was the Director of LifeNet, New York City’s primary crisis hotline for mental health and substance abuse services. She has more than 10 years of experience in the provision of community-based crisis intervention services, having led a Manhattan-based psychiatric crisis team for many years. She received her Ph.D. in clinical social work from Columbia University.
Alicja Patela, M.A. – Communications Coordinator
Alicja has several years of non-profit experience specializing in integrated marketing communications, digital strategy and event coordination. Prior to joining the Lifeline, Alicja worked in education policy and government relations in Washington, D.C. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Politics and a Master’s degree in Corporate Communications and Public Relations from Georgetown University. Alicja’s passion lies in digital storytelling, social media and the convergence of offline and online communications to enhance public health campaigns.
Brooke Sweet - Data Assistant
Brooke works with telephony data to assess network performance and call distribution. She also oversees quality assurance testing to each of the crisis centers in the Lifeline network. Before joining the Lifeline in 2006, Brooke worked in a diverse range of organizations, including a stint in out-of-home marketing and at Women Helping Women, a small non-profit women's counseling center in New Jersey. Brooke holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology from Bard College and enjoys being able to combine her passion for mental health with her passion for “figuring stuff out.”
Manisha Vaze, MSW – Follow-Up Coordinator
After joining the Lifeline in 2012, Manisha promotes follow-up programs throughout the network. She advocates for increased partnerships between crisis centers and emergency department and inpatient facilities by working to build strong relationships with key advocacy groups and associations interested in mental health, suicide prevention and emergency care. Manisha holds a Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University.
Ashley Womble – Director of Communications & Outreach
With an expertise in digital communications, Ashley works to encourage help-seeking behavior through new media. Prior to joining the Lifeline in 2011, Ashley worked as an editor for Hearst Digital Media and Time, Inc. She received a B.A. in journalism from the University of North Texas. Her essays and articles have been published in Salon, Utne Reader, Cosmopolitan, Austin Monthly, and the Star-Telegram.