Lori, a 34 year old Treasure Valley woman diagnosed with breast cancer, called the Hotline and stated she had lost everything. She had recently lost her job at a local bank, her house, her car, and her medical insurance. Lori had also lost her disability insurance and said she was running out of money. We made a solid emotional connection with Lori and assessed her immediate safety. After we determined that Lori had made superficial cuts to her wrists just before calling the Hotline, we were able to get Lori to agree to remain safe for the time being, to call her family for help, and to call the hotline back immediately after she spoke to her family.
After we waited several minutes for a call back from Lori, we performed a follow up call to her. She confirmed that she had called her family for help and that they had called emergency services who were sending an ambulance to Lori’s location. During the follow up call, Lori also told us that she had cut her wrists again, more seriously this time, and was ambivalent about wanting to live. We asked Lori if she would agree to perform basic first aid on herself while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
We remained on the phone with Lori, reassuring her by supporting her decision to ask for help, while the Phone Room Supervisor confirmed with Ada County Dispatch that help was indeed on the way. The call ended when emergency services arrived to take Lori to the hospital.
Several days later Lori called the Hotline and said that the Hotline saved her life. She wanted to thank the phone worker that had helped her through her crisis and asked if we could let that worker know she had gotten help and treatment. Lori said she knew that everything in her life was going to take time to get back on track and that she felt better knowing that she could call the Hotline any time she felt suicidal, anxious, or just needed someone to talk to.