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Our HelpLine Heroes

This week, our HelpLine received especially critical calls from individuals in crisis, and our team members stepped in to save lives.

Operator/Phone Specialists Ellie Baum and Brittany Thompson both handled phone calls with a suicidal individual who called Gaudenzia stating he had lost all hope. Ellie remained on the line with the individual for roughly an hour, providing support and keeping him calm while working with Supervisor Penny Berry to connect the caller with Dauphin County Crisis.

“I told him everything was OK in this moment, even if it wasn’t ok overall,” Ellie Baum said of the call. “When I finished and hung up… I cried.” Ellie credits guidance from supervisor Penny Berry and her own experiences with the challenges of mental health in helping her handle the call.

After working with Dauphin County Crisis, the individual was set up to seek inpatient services at one of our facilities and called in again for help, this time speaking with Brittany Thompson.

“I handled the call by remaining as calm and patient as possible. I told him that everything was going to be alright and that I’d do everything in my power to help him,” Brittany Thompson said of the phone call, crediting her intuition and supervisors Penny Berry and Charles Fritz with knowing how to handle the call.

We’re also incredibly proud of Tamika Hoke, Helpline Specialist, who received a call from an individual seeking detox services for alcohol use. When the caller complained of abdominal pain and stated she was having a seizure, Tamika immediately contacted EMTs, who arrived at the home and transported the caller to a local hospital. Tamika spoke with the EMTs to provide crucial information and continued to provide support to the caller.

“I just wanted her to know she was going to be okay, and help was coming to assist her,” Tamika said of the call.

She credits William Griffiths, Nurse Manager of Coal Township and Common Ground, for his training and making sure she knew to ask the proper medical questions, as well as Call Center Supervisor, Charles Fritz, for his reassurance, helping her stay calm, and providing support during the call. Tamika also credits her entire team, stating, “We learn from each other, and my one coworker had someone with abdominal pain a few months ago, so I already knew what to do about the abdominal pain.”