Support Networks

How to Set Up a Phone Hotline for Suicidal Patients

One of the ways in which we can offer support to suicidal patients is by setting up a phone hotline for them. This is a line that they can call, whenever they are in distress: for instance, whenever they encounter suicidal thoughts. Having such a hotline can make the difference in someone live. It can actually save someone’s life. This is because the probability of a suicidal patient actually going ahead to take their life goes down greatly if they receive help as soon as they start having suicidal ideation.

In the actual process of setting up a phone hotline for suicidal patients, you need to:

  1. Acquire the support center premises: this is where the people receiving the phone calls from the patients (using the hotline) would be based.
  2. Hire the people to offer support through the hotline: these should ideally be psychiatrists, counselors, social workers and other individuals who are truly well qualified to handle suicidal patients.
  3. Get a suitable phone number: this should ideally be a number that is easy to remember off-head.
  4. Publicize the hotline: the idea here is to get as many people as possible to know the hotline, and to regard it as a number through which they can get help when they are severely distressed. You can use the media to get people to know about the hotline.

You obviously have to be ready to cater for the phone bills that will be arising from the use of the hotline. This is especially the case if you opt to operate a toll-free hotline — which means that you are the one who would be catering for the callers’ phone bills. But there are ways of minimizing these costs. For instance, if you are using Metro PCS, you can visit the metro pay bill portal, and select a phone plan that charges you a flat monthly rate, regardless of the phone calls made. This means that you would be make a uniform metro pcs payment for the hotline, regardless of the number of people who call, and regardless of the duration of their calls. Whatever the cost, it will go a long way towards having a reliable support network for the suicidal patients. And as we noted earlier, it can actually help save some of the patients’ lives.

Forming a Support Network for Suicidal Patients

One of the ways in which you can help suicidal patients is by forming a support network for them. A person who has solid social support is unlikely to have suicidal ideation. And even if he does get suicidal ideation, he is unlikely to even consider acting on the suicidal motivations. The very idea of failing the people in his social support network is likely to keep him away from such thoughts.

In fact, interrogating many of the patients who have suicidal ideations reveals that what they mainly lack is social support. Due to lack of social support, the problems they encounter in life appear overwhelming. And that is why they start thinking of suicide as a possible way out. Yet in many cases, the problems may be ones that are fairly commonplace, and that can be quite easily resolved. Take, for instance, someone who was previously working for a department like the US Postal Service. Then, one day, he goes to the liteblue usps employees login page, only to discover that his account is blocked, and he can’t access it. Further enquiries, through the USPS workers portal at liteblue.USPS.gov reveals that he has actually been rendered redundant at work. Yet he had tons of loans and other unpaid bills. In the absence of social support, the said person can start viewing suicidal as a possible way out of the predicament. But with good social support, he may get to see other possible solutions – and realize that the loss of a job isn’t the end of life.

Yet forming support networks for suicidal patients isn’t as easy as it sounds. Suicide is  a sensitive subject, and (just) getting people to talk about it is not easy. Furthermore, the suicidal patients may not be very keen on letting it be known that they have been having suicidal thoughts.

The best thing then is to breach the topic of getting the suicidal patient to join a support network – then watch his reaction. If he seems to resent the idea, don’t push it. Just let the patient see the advantages he stands to get, by joining a support network.

You can also endeavor to get the patient to view joining a support network as part of his treatment plan. If he views it in this light, he is more likely to be enthusiastic about it.