Help in a Crisis

Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C Program Manager, Oncology Social Work

OCTOBER 13, 2017

It is easier to know what to do in a medical emergency: Call 911 if it is really bad or head for the nearest ER if slightly less critical. If it is "just" a problem, you have the 24/7 telephone number for an oncologist on call. But what do you do if you are experiencing an emotional crisis? Again, the advice is to head for the nearest ER if you feel at risk of hurting yourself or someone else (although, admittedly, if you are this distraught, it is tough to take this advice). One hopes, in that situation, that someone else is around and can take control and get you where you need to be. There are suicide/crisis hotlines, but much more often the crisis is not life-threatening. For cancer patients, it is more likely to be high anxiety about health or the future or deep sadness or worry about others whom we love.

I just learned of this resource which seems brilliant:

Yes, a texting contact. Here is the explanation:

How does it work?
Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis.

A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds quickly.

The volunteer Crisis Counselor will help you move from a hot moment to a cool moment.

The website also includes very helpful advice about ways to help yourself. It is worth reading in a non-crisis moment.

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