Each week we will post a summary of interesting and representative 211 calls. This week, we have connections from New Brunswick, Manitoba and New Foundland and Labrador.
People in crisis need the right referrals. They cannot wait a long time for help. 211 Service Navigators know mental health services and can get callers the help that they need.
A man called 211 and said that he needed to talk to someone. He was depressed and felt that he needed counselling. The 211 Service Navigator let him know that she wanted to help, but needed to ask a few questions to make sure he got the right service. She found out that he needed help urgently, but was not going to harm himself.
She referred him to a community mental health agency for ongoing counselling and found two crisis lines for him. After she made sure that he had the contact information for the services, she asked if he wanted her to connect him with a crisis line. She wanted to make sure he was assisted as soon as possible. He agreed and thanked her for her help. With his permission, she contacted a crisis line and made a warm transfer, so that he received help right away.
During COVID, many processes have moved online. While this is physically safer, it has created a lot of confusion for people who are not used to an online environment. 211 Service Navigators are there to help.
A senior called 211 in the afternoon wanting help applying for a vaccine card. She stated that the password and email she was using was not working. After a bit of conversation and troubleshooting, the Service Navigator determined that she was not registered on the proper website.
The Service Navigator did some troubleshooting with the caller, and opened the website on his own computer to walk her through the process. He spent approximately 15 minutes on the phone with her, going through the process of how to apply for the vaccine card online, as he knew that the phone number for information on the vaccine cards was very busy.
The caller said that she was very happy that she had called 211 and stated that she would do so again any time she needed more help.
New Foundland and Labrador:
Severe anxiety can complicate situations and even keep people from getting what they urgently need. 211 Service Navigators are always willing to problem solve with callers to make sure they can actually use the referrals that they are given.
A woman called 211. She said that she has severe anxiety and that both herself and her husband are currently “couch surfing”. Without a fixed address, they cannot use food banks. The caller also cannot go into crowded places to get food, as this triggers her anxiety. She told the Service Navigator that even talking on the phone was causing her anxiety to rise.
The 211 Service Navigator asked gentle, probing questions to make sure that she understood what kind of agency would work for this caller. She then provided a contact number where hot meals are offered in a take-out format. The caller felt that she could handle take-out meals. The Service Navigator also offered referrals to services to help with anxiety, but the caller stated that she is already connected to those services. The Service Navigator urged her to call 211 again if she or her husband needed more help.