Proposing a Phone Number System to Prevent People from Harming Themselves

Discussion in 'Support' started by svg1204, Oct 19, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. svg1204

      svg1204 Member

      Location:
      Dallas
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/04/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphones maybe?not sure really.
      So as we know some of the members sometimes have bad thoughts or think about harming themselves, I would like to propose a database only forum moderators or those asking for help could use, call those. Members in need of help or give police.

      What do you guys think?
       
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    2. SoulStation
      No Mood

      SoulStation Member Ambassador Team Tech

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise / Possible Medication
      I like the idea
       
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    3. Blackbird26

      Blackbird26 Member

      I think there should be some way to be able to intervene for sure.
       
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    4. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      I like this idea, and I think it goes along great with @Zimichael's initiative here.

      I am uneasy about "calling" it a suicide prevention line, because there are official ones for those, with trained people on the other end.

      Now you could argue they may not have the understanding of tinnitus and the impact it can have.

      But those folks have received training when it comes to suicidal people which cannot be understated.

      Maybe we could better brand it as a tinnitus friend helpline service? Or something like that.

      A list of the volunteering people with locations and some basic information about each volunteer.
       
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    5. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Could help people via skype. It's better to talk to a fellow sufferer than anyone else.
       
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    6. Dana
      Chicken

      Dana Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not known, too many possible causes
      Ah, I like the idea so much!

      If there was such a line I would call it right now, I've had a terrible couple of days, and I am doing very badly right now. But I have nobody to help me. And yes, I would prefer 1000000 times to talk to a tinnitus sufferer. I wouldn't need to explain what T is and what T does to people's lives and souls.
      When you are feeling bad, maybe you can write an e-mail and wait for hours, days, to get replies, but when you are feeling really, really bad, when in dire straits, you are't exactly "in shape" to "compose" text, nor to wait many hours for replies, nor even to explain very much.

      Also the phone support offers some kind of privacy very much needed in such delicate situations, privacy that starting a thread that everybody can see anytime... doesn't offer.
      It would be great to have somebody on the other line who knows from the beginning what the problem is, no need for introductory "explanations" that a non T sufferer doesn't get anyway.

      Hearing a human voice is so much better than reading a text.

      To make our own "Tinnitus Help Line", what a great idea of @Zimichael (to have "phone support"), embraced immediately by @RaZaH, @Danny Boy, @svg1204, @SoulStation, @Markku and others (sorry for the people I am forgetting, I am sure I am forgetting many).

      I wouldn't call it " suicide prevention line" only because there should be a line that not only people who are on the verge of committing suicide, i.e. with a plan ready to use, should qualify to use it, but also people who need psychological support because they need a hand to pull them out of the deep dark slippery hole many of us often fall and aren't able to get out of there by ourselves. If we fell in such a hole, that means that we got OVERWHELMED , so from where this strength to get ourselves out, while being overwhelmed?

      @Markku As for the official people that work for suicide prevention lines whose training should not be understated.... their training should't be understated, yes, but not overestimated either. They are not all alike.

      Maybe I will comment in detail in another post about my experience with such a line. Some were GREAT, INDEED, and helped me A LOT , but others....should be fired immediately, if you know what I mean. Juse like in every other domain, some are good, and some are bad (to avoid the word "evil"). Volunteers that work in the suicide prevention's domain make no exception. I think I said enough for now.
      .
       
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    7. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      Im totally agree and my number is always available to anyone ....lots of love glynis xxx
       
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    8. Dana
      Chicken

      Dana Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not known, too many possible causes
      It seems that the job of starting the telephone directory and stick it on the front page of the forum with the phone numbers of the people willing to give support will fall on @Markku 's shoulders, as usual, unless he will ask for help from somebody in his Tech Team.

      Something very important: as we are people from all over the world, in different time zones, that list with the volunteers who are willing to help must contain also the hours between which such a volunteer can be called, period of time expressed using the same referrance : Greenwich/ England time (for example).
       
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    9. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      I have been taking calls now for nearly 5 years and giving advice and use to it and run a support group with another lady .

      The call line is a good idea but you do need to be a strong person and emotionally strong as the callers could be in a bad state and crying and suicidal and you need to be emotionally prepared and not let it turn you in a emotional wreck and definitely not in a state of depression themselves.
      There are lots of people on here who would make great contacts ....lots of love glynis
       
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    10. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Where do I sign-up?
       
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    11. glynis-harbron
      Feminine

      glynis-harbron Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      England, Stoke-on-Trent
      Tinnitus Since:
      2004
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Meniere's Disease
      You would be great at it on here as read your lovely posts....lots of love glynis
       
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    12. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      Im in :)
      You would have to call Iceland though ;)
       
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    13. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Director Staff Benefactor Hall of Fame Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      I'm thinking what the helpline listing should include about every volunteer:
      • Name (first name and/or pseudonym if the volunteer doesn't want to publish first name?)
      • Gender (is it possible that some person might identify easier with a specific gender volunteering?)
      • Age (is this relevant, maybe if a person wants to speak with a volunteer around their age?)
      • Tinnitus since, cause of tinnitus, a little background (a few sentences max to keep it short) on the volunteer and their tinnitus?
      • Which methods can be used to contact the volunteer (regular phone, Skype, Google Voice, Whatsapp)?
      • Volunteer's timezone and availability for calls (the availability times should maybe be in the line of "during these hours I'm most likely available to talk, but I cannot guarantee that")

      Is this too much information, or just enough?

      How about publishing phone numbers; I think for privacy reasons some people might not want their phone numbers listed in public. How is that best handled? Should the person wanting to call the helpline volunteer first reach out to them via a conversation here?

      When we get these details sorted out, then we can start collecting details and volunteers. :)
       
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    14. RaZaH
      Not amused

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Team Tech

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      I think a real name is needed , weird to get a phonecall from someone calling me RaZaH and not a good way to establish first contact in a sensitive , personal matter.

      Gender makes sense, it might matter to some people.

      Age , yes.

      Tinnitus , yes.

      Which methods , yes , I for one would prefer a regular phonecall , although the person calling could use Skype.

      Volunteer timezone and availability would make sense.

      As for the phone number ...hmm..Reaching out first via PM might delay the whole process , the need for support could come fast and unexpectedly , Maybe (and I dont know if this is possible) you would log into a separate helpline "forum" and there you can see the phonenumbers ?

      Having said that , I am ok with my number just being there for anyone to see , not a problem.
       
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    15. Steve H
      Creative

      Steve H Director Staff Benefactor Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      York, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Flu, Noise-induced, Jaw trauma
      I think this is a great idea.

      I'm in of course. I think we can't just display phone numbers publicly as that could lead to all sorts of spam. I'm not sure how to do it but I'm sure there's a way to make them available to those in need (tech people feel free to contribute).

      Also, it is worth noting that the BTA have a helpline in operation. There will be things to learn from their experiences so it will be nice to discuss it with them.
       
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    16. Danny Boy
      Cheerful

      Danny Boy Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      7/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection
      Yeah, but the BTA helpline, they have no clue how to deal with a sufferer...I called and they told me it would subside and not to worry. Not really enlightening words. All that did is made me panic more and feel like nobody could help me.. They are trained yes, sure, but to do what? They can't give you medical advice or actually confine with you...I just had bad experiences with the BTA. I think a system where us sufferers can call and help other sufferers is much needed. Just need to know how to implement such a thing. Anyway, nice to see you on here Steve.
       
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    17. Steve H
      Creative

      Steve H Director Staff Benefactor Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      York, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Flu, Noise-induced, Jaw trauma
      I understand where you are coming from and I do agree that it is so much more powerful to talk to somebody who has this and has been through the mill with it. Whatever your experiences there are always things to learn however.
       
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    18. suera

      suera Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2010
      I love this idea and think there is such a need for it. I would not make a good volunteer as I am in a dark place myself and don't feel that is the type of person who should be on the other end of distress call. That said there are so many upbeat people on this board who could give excellent hope of living with tinnitus.
       
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    19. Dana
      Chicken

      Dana Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not known, too many possible causes
      @Markku
      There are many, many aspects and details that have to be solved before this idea of this thread (a spin-off, a branch, of the initial wide topic "Invitation" made by @Zimichael in the Support section) can be implemented.

      Regarding "availability", instead of "during these hours I'm most likely available to talk, but I cannot guarantee that", I think that the list of the people willing to help (each with their particular way to be reached: regular phone, Google voice, Yahoo voice call, Skype, Watts up, etc)
      should have an interactive box for "availability", which the volunteer could check or uncheck anytime they want, depending on their schedule, and various other factors.

      It induces even more panic when you are in need for fast help to be unable to reach a person (because that person is not home or not available for other reasons, although you call within the announced hours)

      The probability of the person in need to reach a person should be increased by each volunteer having his availability box checked or unchecked, or colored in bright yellow for "available" or gray for "unavailable", for example.

      I am aware that this "availability box" means more work for the Team Tech, but for the people in a crisis, IMO, the best there is technical wise should be given. Some of the callers may be holding onto a straw, and is desirable to implement the idea in such a way that they can reach help fast, maybe from the first call.

      Also, unchecking the "available box", the volunteers can get themselves off the hook whenever they want, they won't think something like "Oh, I joined now and I am between my availability hours, so I have a full time job now, even though right now I don't feel like answering, I want to do something else, or I am not in the mood, or i have a bad T day myself, etc." , you get the idea.
       
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    20. Sgguy46
      Jaded

      Sgguy46 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress
      I am not sure if most of us are qualified to counsel someone at the edge. To use a lifeguard analogy, if the lifeguard is not trained and experienced, both may end up drowning. I know that i am not qualified particularly given my own state at this point in my life.

      Just saying. Understand that people may not agree with me.
       
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    21. Rina
      Energetic

      Rina Member

      Location:
      florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/18/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Really don't know
      Me too! In in Florida Usa... I can help via Skype, Facebook messenger, whatsup , and my phone of course! I will send you all my info @Markku !!! Let's get this thing started!!!!!
       
    22. svg1204

      svg1204 Member

      Location:
      Dallas
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/04/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphones maybe?not sure really.
      Well this is my number 4698036364 for people on the us , I'm I'm Dallas,Texas, my name is Santiago and you can text or call me, i also use skype and my id is svgwpb,or whatsapp messenger, or line, those who have smart phones and have apps like line or whatsapp add me just put my number on your phone like this 011 1 4698036364 or send me yours and ill add you.

      I also created a group me group and if it is and emergency I don't care if you ring at 3 in the morning.

      Today for you, tomorrow for me, today you might need my help tomorrow I might need yours.
       
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    23. Rina
      Energetic

      Rina Member

      Location:
      florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/18/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Really don't know
      @Markku people should include their time zone as well and what other languages they speak...
       
    24. Steve H
      Creative

      Steve H Director Staff Benefactor Team Trobalt Team Tech Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      York, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Flu, Noise-induced, Jaw trauma
      I agree. To support somebody who is at the very edge is so tricky and without a full understanding of how to do that it can cause harm. But to give somebody human contact when they are in need of support can be something very good. I guess it can work if it's an extension of what we do here already.
       
    25. Dana
      Chicken

      Dana Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not known, too many possible causes
      @Sgguy46
      I personally disagree
      You think?
      @Danny Boy already told us what is "the best" the BTA people can do.


      Let me take you through the script that the volunteers working for a certain "life line crisis and suicide prevention holtline" follow:
      "Hello? My name is .... (some BS name). What's yours?"
      "What' the emergency?"
      "Do you want to take your own life, or somebody's life right now?"
      If the answer in positive: "Do you have a plan?"
      If yes: "what's the plan?"
      If the plan involves pills, for example : "What kind of pills? Where are the pills?"
      "Could you take the pills and put them away? Could you do that for me/please?"
      "Now, what do you like to do (in general, in life)?"
      Depending on your answer, they tell you to do that thing that you like (take a bath, listen to music, etc)
      "Well, so do that now and after that, if you still feel bad, remember that we are here 24/ 7 and you can always call us back, ok, can you do that for me?"

      If you call them back, they take you through the same script, so, in other words, they suggest to trudge your way forward from taking a bath to taking yet another bath, even if you have hot water or not, or from listening to music to listening to some more music, even if you may have developed misophonia in the meantime, with phone calls in between, of course.
      IMO, with all due respect, I think that ANYBODY can do better than that!

      I think that a T sufferer who feels that he can help and wants to help, can do way better than that.

      I don't think that analogy with the lifeguard not well trained, being in danger to drown himself too, is a good one. Unlike the lifeguard, which cannot pass the rescuing job to another lifeguard in the middle of the mission, the volunteer who answers can suggest to the caller, in case he sees that he doesn't obtain any success with that caller (so in the worst case scenario), to call another volunteer or the emergency number in the caller's country, so the first volunteer is safe from "drowning", being able to get off the call anytime.
      Anyway, the volunteers that sign up, if they were strong enough to fight with their own T and distress, I think they got strong enough to fight with anything. Of that I am sure. If they don't feel up to it for they day, they can simply uncheck their availability box.

      Even if they just suggest that T will subside in time, BTA style, or to take a bath or to listen to music or to call the emergency number in the caller's country, they were equal to, or surpassed, what the volunteers of other hotlines do.

      IMO just hearing the voice of another T sufferer can do WONDERS for the person in T distress.
      Simply hearing the voice of someone who knows about T and is in a better mood, changing a few words on whatever subject, can lift the mood of the caller.
      In the worst case scenario, like i said, the volunteer can tell the caller to dial the emergency number in the caller's country and that's that.

      I wouldn't like to remember what somebody allegedly "properly qualified" from a life crisis line said to me. My luck was that I immediately called again, got somebody else, and that somebody else repaired "the damage". If I am pushed enough, I will say, but I would prefer not to.

      Remember that this is a proposal for people who volunteer to do that. Who feels that he can't do that, there's absolutely no obligation.
      Another aspect is that there are people who not only accept to do that, but WANT to do that, some people already gave their numbers or announced their availability, so a possibility must be created for the person in need to connect with the person who feels able to help to meet in another way different than this "cyber unreality", as @Zimichael put it.
       
    26. Sailboardman
      Frustrated

      Sailboardman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/21/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sensorineural hearing loss right ear.
      Any legality issues here? Any lawyers in this group? What if someone offs themselves, while your on the phone with them. You'd be the last person they called. That's traceable. Just a thought.
       
    27. Rina
      Energetic

      Rina Member

      Location:
      florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/18/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Really don't know
      @Sailboardman i see your point, but I believe it will be just a support group with access to a phone call, video chat or instant message.. Just like we are doing here... But with the opportunity to get a response right away in time of need ...
       
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    28. Dana
      Chicken

      Dana Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not known, too many possible causes
      @Sailboardman
      I am not a lawyer, and, what's worse than that, laws are different from country to country, so the scenario you mentioned can be interpreted in different ways, depending on the jurisdictions involved.

      But:
      1) a lawyer specialised in international legislation can be consulted

      2) I have a question: if I am prepared and determined to kill myself and before that I call a random acquaintance and I off myself during the conversation, that innocent acquaintance bears the responsibility for my act?
      I do not think so.

      From what I understood, we are trying to set up a system to offer HELP IN TIME (like @Rina pointed out) to people in T distress from other people who know about the distress T can cause from their own experience, help which is likely to surpass in quality the kind of "help" a T sufferer can get by talking with a person who never experienced T in their life, be it a medical professional who tells you "live with it" or "please, wrap this up, I have other patients waiting"

      NOTHING MORE THAN THAT!
      Not some kind of a help line that guarantees that a suicidal T sufferer will quit his suicide ideation for the rest of his life!
      To make sure that this aspect is clear for the caller, such a disclaimer can be made.
      With some extra code, some terms of agreement can be put before getting to that page with the volunteers' contact data, în the same style we see when installing a software.

      Something like: "This is not an official suicide prevention hotline run by professionally trained people. If you want to talk to a volunteer, you must agree to the following condition: if at any time during the conversation you feel like you are getting worse or want to commit suicide, your responsibility is to close the conversation immediately and call the emergency number in your area.
      If the caller agrees, he can get to the page with the volunteer's data.
      If not, access will be denied.
      CASE CLOSED!
       
    29. svg1204

      svg1204 Member

      Location:
      Dallas
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/04/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphones maybe?not sure really.
      Sometimes all you need is some to listen to you , who understands what your going through,sometimes all you need is to talk, or a shoulder to cry on, that makes you feel your not alone. tslking with people with the same condition as you helps, I saw that with my mothers breast cancer when she used to go to support meetings.

      And it does the same regardless of the condition, feeling that someone cares.
       
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    30. Sailboardman
      Frustrated

      Sailboardman Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/21/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sensorineural hearing loss right ear.
      @Dana,

      I only asked the question, because we live with a legal system, more than a justice system. There are many frivolous law suits jamming up the courts, represented by lawyers looking to make a buck.

      My point was, to investigate all the possible legal ramifications, first. And btw, many disclaimers aren't bulletproof, in a court of law.

      I'm sure nobody would be held personally responsible, but might be questioned by authorities, on what transpired during that last conversation. That's if it even got that far?

      I'm a businessman, carrying a ton of liability insurance, to protect myself from the what if's. Better to go in with your eyes wide open and know all the details, before inking a deal. That's all I'm saying.
       
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