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Phil’s story: Help in a crisis, thanks to 211

Caught in a firestorm of distress, Phil found himself by the road one night not knowing where to go or what to do.

He had the foresight to dial 211 on his cell phone to seek help.

“I can’t continue like this,” Phil told the 211 service navigator at the other end of the line, acknowledging his mental distress.

With an empathetic voice, the navigator asked him to explain his situation. She gently probed him with questions to ascertain whether he was at risk of hurting himself.

He was not suicidal, but he was in a mental health crisis and far away from a hospital.

211 is the free and confidential information and referral service that connects New Brunswickers to critical human, social, community and government support. It helps people navigate the complex network of government and community programs and services quickly to find what they need. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

That night, the 211 service navigator offered Phil emotional support and discussed what he felt he needed at that moment. It was clear he needed to see someone face-to-face to talk about his situation to help him get through the crisis.

With his permission, she connected him to a mobile crisis team. She introduced his situation, and the staff said that they would be able to see him. A registered nurse agreed to stay on the line with him until the crisis team was able to arrive.

Thanks to 211 that night, Phil was able to get the help he needed.