Caller Story – Mar. 29, 2021
Each week we will post a summary of interesting and representative 211 calls. This week, we have connections from Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick:
Newfoundland and Labrador:
Parents of children with special needs are often unaware of programs that can assist them. That is why it is so important that they can reach 211 and find the support services that they and their children deserve.
The caller and his spouse had worked in a sector of the economy hard hit by COVID, and had not been able to work in months. The caller had two children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The caller was receiving funds from Employment Insurance and needed help paying for his hydro and cable. The caller was unaware that there were programs with financial assistance for his children, such as the Disability Tax Credit. Also, he had not connected with the services of the Autism Society.
The 211 Service Navigator was unable to provide caller with assistance for the cable bill. However, she gave the caller options for finding funding for the children, such as the Disability Tax Credit and the Autism Society Navigation. She also described the Interest Assistance Program for NL Power and told him how he could apply. At the end of the call, the caller told the Service Navigator: “It’s good to know about these programs; thank you for your guidance.”
Sometimes people have to talk to someone in order to decide what it is that they need to feel better. Understandably, when people are emotional, it is hard to think about the best way forward. 211 Service Navigators can help callers clarify their needs and come up with solutions that will work for them.
A woman called 211, saying that she needed support, but did not know where to call. She was feeling down, and was going through a transition, and stated that she needed help with her mental health. She was not sure what to do.
The 211 Service Navigator gave the caller emotional support and empathy. She probed to find out what, if any, supports the caller already had tried, and clarified what the caller was seeking. The caller felt there could be a medical component to her distress. The Service Navigator referred the caller to a service where she could access medical care over the telephone or the Internet. She also gave the caller contact information to a 24 hour mental health crisis hotline and to a local community mental health service. She described in detail how all of these services worked, and encouraged the caller to reach out again to 211 anytime if she needed more help.