Each week we will post a summary of interesting and representative 211 calls. This week, we have connections from Manitoba and New Brunswick:
It’s very hard for many people to admit they need help. Reaching out the first time can make someone feel very vulnerable. 211 Service Navigators are sensitive to the needs of first time callers and can make them feel more comfortable accessing services.
A 211 Service Navigator took a call from a woman who said she was struggling with her mental health. She was feeling very down and isolated, and didn’t know where to turn. She had never reached out for help before and said that she felt embarrassed.
The 211 Service Navigator spent time empathizing with the caller. He did not rush the caller off the phone, and made sure that she had enough time to talk and explain how she was feeling. He normalized the caller’s feelings and praised her for reaching out and seeking help, as this was a huge step. When the caller was ready, he provided her with some helpline options she could access after their conversation. As a more long term solution, he provided the caller with referrals to local counselling services.
The caller said she was feeling much better after speaking with the Service Navigator, and felt ready to call another line and talk about how she was feeling. She stated that she was extremely thankful for 211 and the conversation, and felt much better after calling.
Many people have trouble doing their own income tax returns. People who do not have enough money to pay for income tax preparation may be especially anxious. 211 Service Navigators know where people can turn for this kind of help.
A female caller revealed that she had a low income to a 211 Service Navigator. She was not sure how she was going to get her taxes done. She could not afford to pay someone to prepare them and was unsure of how to do them herself.
The Service Navigator asked some probing questions and found out exactly where the caller lived. She let the caller know about free income tax preparation clinics for those who have low incomes. She described the eligibility requirements, how to apply and what kind of documents the caller would need. She gave contact information and other details to the client on her nearest income tax clinic. She let the caller know that she could 211 again if she needed more assistance. The caller told the Service Navigator that she would call the free income tax clinic right away.