Make the effort to introduce yourself to some of the people in your loved one’s support team. It is not necessary to become friends with them all but it can be reassuring to know who they are and to have their contact details to hand. Early in our friendship I exchanged details with a few of Fran’s closest friends.
- Name and address
- Email addresses (work and private)
- Telephone numbers (landline, mobile and internet)
- Social networking accounts
Fran has a more formal list of “just in case” contacts built into her Travel Wellness Plan. I have never had cause to “press the panic button” but it is reassuring to know who to contact should the need ever arise. I recommend also keeping to hand some emergency crisis line numbers such as the Samaritans, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (USA). Befrienders Worldwide (www.befrienders.org) maintains a directory of international helplines. You will also find the following details in the Resources and further reading appendix.
Samaritans (UK and Ireland) www.samaritans.org 08457 90 90 90 (UK) 1850 60 90 90 (Republic of Ireland) firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/samaritanscharity
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (USA) www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org 1-800-273-TALK (8255) www.facebook.com/800273TALK
Gum On My Shoe Draft chapter 1 August 2013