Naomi Carey, LMSW – Standards, Training and Practices Coordinator
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.
Raj Cheema, M.A. – Special Projects Assistant
As a recent graduate from The New School for Social Research, Raj’s work is primarily been focused in the areas of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. Drawing on her educational and direct service experience, she maintains White House correspondence by collaborating with crisis centers in an effort to facilitate a risk assessment of those who contact the Lifeline outside of our telephone services. Prior to starting her career in the non-profit sector, Raj spent the past 7 years working in a variety of administrative roles in the medical, financial, and education service industries.
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.
Justin Epstein – Membership Assistant
Justin is a recent graduate from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey with a BA in communication and visual arts. While matriculating at Rutgers he began working at the Zimmerli Art Museum in membership development. Upon graduation he wanted to continue in a non-profit sector and uses his prior background to focus and maintain communication with members of Lifeline.
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. – Assistant Director of Network Operations
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.
Padmini Mangunta – Assistant Director of Communications
Prior to joining MHA-NYC in 2014, Padmini has worked for a number of non-profit, hospitality and media names in the area of marketing and communications. Before beginning at MHA-NYC, she worked for Thanyapura Hospitality Group and 365Playground Management, both located in Phuket, Thailand. Previous experience as included Henry Street Settlement House in New York City, NBC Universal and Fox Digital.
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.
Shari Sinwelski, M.S./Ed.S – Associate Director of Quality Improvement
Shari supports the over 160 crisis centers that make up the network that is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Working in suicide prevention for nearly 20 years, Shari has served as a director at several call centers across the country including 2-1-1 Big Bend, Via Link and the Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Center, where she founded a support group for suicide attempt survivors. Shari is a certified crisis counselor through the American Association of Suicidology and a Training Coach and safeTALK instructor with Living Works Education.
Ashley Vactor- Social Media Assistant
Through social media outreach, Ashley works passionately alongside the rest of the communications team to help promote the organization and its mission. Prior to joining the Lifeline in 2013, Ashley received a B.A. in Journalism and Media Studies with a minor in Public Health from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. During college, she interned at iVillage and Alloy Digital in both editorial and social media positions.
Andrea Weston- Executive Assistant
Andrea comes to Lifeline with more than 15 years of experience in executive administrative support, customer service, and human resources. She’s worked in a variety of fast-paced small, mid-sized, and large business environments across several industries including hospital/healthcare and media.
Stacia Weaver – Public Relations & Marketing Manager
Stacia promotes Lifeline’s resources through a vast array of communication materials. She writes content for the quarterly newsletter and website, edits video content, profiles exceptional individuals who have overcome their behavioral challenges, and works closely with the media to ensure that sensitive topics like suicide and mental illness are reported responsibly. In her prior position at The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, one of her extended roles was event PR marketing annual special events. She earned her Master of Science degree at Drexel University in Public Communication.
Ashley Womble – Director of Communications
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.