October 9, 2023  — Categorized in:

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline and Vibrant Emotional Health Partner with Leading Open-Air Shopping Centers Owners to Increase Awareness of the 988 Lifeline through Signs of HOPE

Media Contact:

Divendra Jaffar, [email protected]

NEW YORK, NY – October 9, 2023 – In partnership with seven of the nation’s leading open-air shopping center owners, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (988 Lifeline) and Vibrant Emotional Health (Vibrant), the administrator of the 988 Lifeline, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), today announced the installation of more than 8,400 “Signs of HOPE,” across 1,450 shopping centers in 40 U.S. states to increase awareness of emotional support services for those in distress.

Leading open-air shopping center owners like Brixmor Property Group, Kimco Realty, Kite Realty Group, Peterson Companies, Regency Centers, Sterling Organization, and Urban Edge Properties teamed up to increase awareness and educate customers about mental and emotional well-being.

“Vibrant is incredibly grateful for partnerships where we can promote the 988 Lifeline services to inform, educate, and increase awareness of the Lifeline,” said Dr. Tia Dole, Chief 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Officer at Vibrant Emotional Health. “The goal of these partnerships is to educate individuals about the availability of mental health resources in their communities, leading to more effective utilization and reducing the stigma of seeking support. We hope to reach an expanded volume of Americans who can leverage the 988 Lifeline when and wherever it’s needed.”

The 988 Lifeline is a national network of over 215 local crisis centers that provides 24/7 emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress via phone, text, and chat to help individuals when, where, and how they need it. Vibrant continually strives to broaden the visibility of the 988 Lifeline and eliminate stigmas surrounding behavioral health care.

This program is expected to reach a significant number of people each year, including:

● 251 million people make 4.2 billion visits to these shopping centers annually.

● 42% of the U.S. population lives within 5 miles of this combined property portfolio.

Installation of the 12” x 18” weather-resistant metal signs, primarily on parking lot light poles, began in September, with full roll-out expected by year-end 2024. These reflective signs, visible 1 at all hours, highlight the multiple ways to reach the 988 Lifeline and its critical mental health services.

Photo credit: Regency Centers.

Mental health is so important, impacting every community we serve and prompting this first-time collaboration among seven of the leading open-air shopping center owners,” said Kristen Moore, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Brixmor Property Group. “Working together, we can substantially elevate awareness of this critical life-saving service for our consumers who visit our grocery-anchored centers frequently for their daily convenience needs. We hope these signs will have a meaningful impact on our communities, and we appreciate Vibrant’s partnership.”

“Connecting with our communities is one of Regency’s core values,” said Jan Hanak, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Regency Centers. “We are proud to join other open-air shopping centers in spreading the message of the critical services 988 provides to those in our neighborhoods.”

“Shopping centers are the heartbeat of many communities – spaces of connection, and now, anchors of hope,” said Jennifer Maisch, Vice President of Marketing for Kimco Realty. “Our collaboration with Vibrant, the 988 Lifeline, and the other participating landlords is aimed at using our centers as platforms to champion mental wellbeing. With every ‘Sign of HOPE’ we put up, we hope to remind individuals that they’re not alone, and support is always available.”

“As our shopping centers play a key role in the daily lives of our communities, Kite Realty Group is dedicated to being an active and helpful citizen,” said Bryan McCarthy, SVP, Corporate Marketing & Communications for Kite Realty Group. “We are incredibly proud to partner with our open-air shopping center peers, Signs of HOPE, and the 988 Lifeline to create a wide-reaching and lasting impact on mental health and well-being.”

“As property owners and developers, we recognize that our open-air shopping centers are more than just physical spaces; they are vibrant hubs within our communities. Our hope is that, through this initiative, we can help further educate our visitors on this vital three-digit number and illuminate the path to emotional support for those in distress,” said Joanna Rothermel, Vice President of Marketing for Peterson Companies.

“We are proud to be part of this Signs of HOPE initiative and consider these signs in our centers to be a positive stride towards raising awareness about mental health resources and fostering open, stigma-free discussions on the topic within our local communities,” said Dana Verhelst, Senior Vice President for Sterling Organization.

“Urban Edge aims to make a lasting, positive impact on the communities we serve in a variety of ways,” said Coleen R. Conklin, Vice President of Marketing for Urban Edge Properties. “Partnering on the Signs of HOPE program with Vibrant Emotional Health and our open-air shopping center industry peers helps raise awareness for the 988 Lifeline and connect our shoppers with this critical mental health resource.”

For life-saving crisis support and resources, please visit vibrant.org or 988lifeline.org. If you are in crisis and need help, please call or text 988 or chat online at 988lifeline.org/chat/. Support is also available in Spanish by texting AYUDA to 988.


About Vibrant Emotional Health
Vibrant Emotional Health is a non-profit organization that helps individuals and families achieve emotional well-being. For over 50 years, our groundbreaking solutions have delivered high-quality services and support when, where, and how people need it. We offer confidential emotional support through our state-of-the-art contact center and crisis hotline services that use leading-edge telephone, text, and web-based technologies, including the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, Disaster Distress Helpline, Veterans Crisis Line, and NFL Life Line. Through our community wellness programs, individuals and families obtain the support and skills they need to thrive. Our advocacy and education initiatives promote mental well-being as a social responsibility. We help nearly 5 million people live healthier and more vibrant lives each year. We’re advancing access, dignity, and respect for all and revolutionizing the system for good. Visit vibrant.org. And follow Vibrant on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


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