Provided by ACTS
Vicki Graham, ACTS Chief Program Officer and longtime Director of ACTS Helpline, announced her retirement after 32 years of service. Graham was the longest-serving director of the Helpline (1992-2015) and the longest-serving employee in ACTS’s 51-year history.
Helpline started as a local volunteer hotline, but with Graham’s help, it grew to become a professional crisis hotline with the broadest coverage in the state of Virginia. It is a backup call center for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and is crisis center accredited by the American Association of Suicidology.
In her tenure working on ACTS Helpline, Graham personally answered an estimated 50,000 calls from people who were suicidal. She founded Senior Link, a free call reassurance program that provides over 1,000 scheduled phone calls each month to isolated senior citizens or those who are physically disabled, giving them the comfort that someone cares for them.
She also founded:
- Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors (LOSS), working in conjunction with Prince William County Police Department, the LOSS team is comprised of trained volunteers able to provide onsite and follow-up support and resources to families experiencing a death by suicide.
- Surviving After Suicide, a free, confidential, mutual self-help support group whose goal is to provide support in a safe environment to friends and family members who have lost a loved one to suicide.
- Parents of Suicide Loss, a support group for parents who have lost a child, of any age, to suicide.
- Renewed Hope, a peer support group for those who have made a suicide attempt and find it difficult to open up to other people. It meets in a safe environment, allowing members to gain strength from each other and process any feelings of guilt, anger, depression, or hopelessness.
- Traumatic Death Support, a free, confidential, non-judgmental peer-led support group whose goal is to provide a safe environment for those who have experienced a traumatic loss. It is an opportunity for participants to give and receive support from others who have experienced the traumatic death of a loved one.
Graham became ACTS Chief Program Officer in 2015 and oversees the operation of ACTS Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Helpline, and Housing services. These services combined served over 30,000 PWC residents last year alone.
“Who knows how many lives Vicki has saved and families she has helped to heal over the course of her career?” said Steven Liga, CEO of ACTS. “With quiet grace, humility, and a quirky sense of humor, Vicki has given us a rare example of what it means to truly live a life of service.”
ACTS will be dedicating the conference room in their main office to Graham during a luncheon at the end of October. While they cannot invite the public, they ask anyone who wants to wish her well to record a brief video message and send it to the HR Director, Tiffany Dagulo (email@example.com). ACTS will create a video of everyone’s well wishes to run during her party.