The caller was crying and desperate…

Story of Hope

The caller was crying and desperate. “I can’t go on anymore,” he said, “I really can’t.” He said that he suffered from depression, had a physical disability, was feeling scared, frustrated, and lonely, and decided that suicide was the only answer to his problems. He was divorced and estranged from two of his three children. In addition, because of a back injury, he had limited physical mobility that required accommodations at his apartment, which his landlord refused to make.

Our crisis line counselor conducted a thorough risk assessment, listening to the caller’s reasons for dying and helping him explore reasons for living, which included one adult child and a grandchild who regularly visited and supported him. Together, our counselor and the caller created a plan to keep the man safe. As part of the plan, our counselor worked with 211 staff to identify resources that would address the landlord-tenant dispute. Also, the counselor received permission to make follow-up calls for a short period of time to help the man get through this difficult period. Over the ensuing month, various crisis line workers contacted him to provide added support, continue developing a plan for long-term safety from suicidal behaviors, and assure him that his housing issue was being addressed. As the follow-up calls were wrapping up, the man said that our service had saved his life and that he was relieved to know that help was out there.