Each week we will post a summary of interesting and representative 211 calls. This week, we have connections from New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Like everyone, people with mental health issues have many needs in addition to their mental health. 211 Service Navigators do not look at mental health issues in isolation. If someone does not have adequate income, housing or other basic needs, it is very difficult to move ahead with mental health issues.
A 211 Service Navigator took a call from a woman in Fredericton who introduced herself as the sister of a person who suffers from mental illness. She explained that her sister would soon have no income left and was being evicted from her apartment. She also spoke about how her sister was also looking for employment.
After listening to the caller and clarifying her situation, the Service Navigator was able to connect her with several resources. The Service Navigator first gave the caller referrals to NB Housing, the NB Housing Navigators and the Canada Housing Benefit, and let her know how these programs worked and how they could help her sister. The Service Navigator then offered her the contact information for social assistance at the Department of Social Development and explained how this program functioned. Finally, the Service Navigator suggested calling the Canadian Mental Health Association for programs to help with mental health support, self-esteem and job skills building.
The caller said that was very thankful for the many resources. She took the time to write the contacts down and repeated them back to the Service Navigator. After the call, the Service Navigator reflected that it is very important when taking calls to probe and clarify the situation that is explained in order to offer all of the relevant resources.
Newfoundland and Labrador:
211 Service Navigators listen carefully to callers, and sometimes probe for needs that the caller has not thought to mention. Service Navigators try to find services that will assist people with all of their needs – not just the ones that they mentioned at the beginning of the call.
A grandmother who was taking care of her granddaughter who has special needs called 211. The granddaughter needs another pair of glasses because her prescription has changed, but the grandmother is not working right now, so that she can take care of her granddaughter. The lack of income from employment has made the glasses very difficult to afford.
The Service Navigator let the caller know that the NL Department of Children, Seniors and Social Development could pay for a portion of the cost of the glasses. The Service Navigator asked if the granddaughter had other prescriptions, which she did. The grandmother was also made aware that her granddaughter’s other prescriptions might also be covered by the government and she provided both referrals. The grandmother was very happy and exclaimed: “I didn’t know that it could be covered! That’s great because I am not working right now.”