call to suicide hotline just to talk Prevents employment

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tony in Howell, New Jersey

83 months ago

a newly graduated social worker (sw undergraduate) was recently grieving a death of a loved one who died earlier that morning. The new sw graduate then placed a phone call to a suicide hotline merely to talk. the recent sw graduated searching on the internet that morning for grieving hotlines linked via internet discovered a 1-800 hotline number,it stated on the internet hotline "if you need to talk call us" the recent sw graduate from a four year sw program needed to talk so placed the call & the police was sent to the sw graduate home & taken to the ER and was screened by PESS & in a few hours released yet, in searching for a social work job since that incident the sw graduate applies for MANY sw job(s)& has been invited to have an interview, all goes well during interview yet, during the application process a background check is conducted, the sw graduate has always had a perfect background, clear, and clean record, never a concern, except for that one dark day of grieving & being sent to the ER by police. Does that trip to the ER reflect poorly for the newly sw graduate? Will that PREVENT the sw graduate from being hired? What steps must be taken to secure a sw position?

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Janice

82 months ago

tony in Howell, New Jersey said: a newly graduated social worker (sw undergraduate) was recently grieving a death of a loved one who died earlier that morning. The new sw graduate then placed a phone call to a suicide hotline merely to talk. the recent sw graduated searching on the internet that morning for grieving hotlines linked via internet discovered a 1-800 hotline number,it stated on the internet hotline "if you need to talk call us" the recent sw graduate from a four year sw program needed to talk so placed the call & the police was sent to the sw graduate home & taken to the ER and was screened by PESS & in a few hours released yet, in searching for a social work job since that incident the sw graduate applies for MANY sw job(s)& has been invited to have an interview, all goes well during interview yet, during the application process a background check is conducted, the sw graduate has always had a perfect background, clear, and clean record, never a concern, except for that one dark day of grieving & being sent to the ER by police. Does that trip to the ER reflect poorly for the newly sw graduate? Will that PREVENT the sw graduate from being hired? What steps must be taken to secure a sw position?

Possibly getting counseling and show she has dealt with her issues. She can show she is not a threat which is what they are worried about. Even if she weas not suicidal she shoed she had concerns she was having trouble dealing with. She can also talk to a lawyer who can get this resolved maybe. This will also give her insigt about what any client will deal with. A learnig experience.

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t in Toms River, New Jersey

81 months ago

Janice said: Possibly getting counseling and show she has dealt with her issues. She can show she is not a threat which is what they are worried about. Even if she weas not suicidal she shoed she had concerns she was having trouble dealing with. She can also talk to a lawyer who can get this resolved maybe. This will also give her insigt about what any client will deal with. A learnig experience.

Hello Janice, Good suggestion about being in touch with a lawyer. Money is the issue, yet, banks do give out loans. Just wondering, a question for you, well, Since the sw graduate went voln.& willingly with Police to the ER & screened by PESS, Do you know whether or not that report will show up on an abstract when a company/agency conducts background check? Does it mean in all probability that incident will appear on an abstract when a background check is completed? Can you please share any insight here? any insight here will be welcomed. BTW,the sw graduate has already sought out professional help for grief, currently with a Social Worker holding a PhD. That professional has not been able to answer the question, as it is the opinion of that professional "there simply isn't any real way of knowing the answer to the question". The sw graduate holds merely a BSW, and is seeking any insight from you what-so-ever, if you can direct and or make any other suggestions, please share- it continues to be a small concern.

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Janice

81 months ago

We always need to know our limits and boundaries and this is mine. Legal aide can be contacted to determine best situation. I know what I would do in this situation but I would keep in mind that these situations are evident in our practice and we need to remember that. How does a suicide hotline get so concerned they call the police? Was this hotline worker reacting to her or his own situation and these areas need to be explored. Did the social worker thinks the worker had reason to call the police and now in retrospect wish she had not call them.
In our own practices we may find ourselves reacting strongly to a situation. I take time and process things and define why I am reacting this way. I sometimes get feedback from a trusted person and decide what is making me respond. Thank goodness there are not many of these situations. It is also the reason we document everything in third person who takes us out of the picture and allows us to describe the situation more clearly. If we find ourselves thinking more of our part then who is the one with the problem? If we find we are the one reacting then we need to address our issues.
If she was upset enough to have this escalate rather than the worker talking things out of context, then I would volunteer a brief explanation and explain she had just read an ad and it stated if you need to talk. She realized she needed extra help and got it and now she has a better way to deal with upsetting events. . Discussing this with professional advice that hear the whole story rather than part of the information is best.

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CAROLQSTIX in Spring Hill, Florida

81 months ago

Janice said: We always need to know our limits and boundaries and this is mine. Legal aide can be contacted to determine best situation. I know what I would do in this situation but I would keep in mind that these situations are evident in our practice and we need to remember that. How does a suicide hotline get so concerned they call the police? Was this hotline worker reacting to her or his own situation and these areas need to be explored. Did the social worker thinks the worker had reason to call the police and now in retrospect wish she had not call them.
In our own practices we may find ourselves reacting strongly to a situation. I take time and process things and define why I am reacting this way. I sometimes get feedback from a trusted person and decide what is making me respond. Thank goodness there are not many of these situations. It is also the reason we document everything in third person who takes us out of the picture and allows us to describe the situation more clearly. If we find ourselves thinking more of our part then who is the one with the problem? If we find we are the one reacting then we need to address our issues.
If she was upset enough to have this escalate rather than the worker talking things out of context, then I would volunteer a brief explanation and explain she had just read an ad and it stated if you need to talk. She realized she needed extra help and got it and now she has a better way to deal with upsetting events. . Discussing this with professional advice that hear the whole story rather than part of the information is best.

I didn't know that if you have made a suicide threat that it goes on your background for future employers to see??
I thought that would be confidential medical type stuff?

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CAROLQSTIX in Spring Hill, Florida

81 months ago

I didn't know that if you have made a suicide threat that it goes on your background for future employers to see??
I thought that would be confidential medical type stuff?

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Janice

81 months ago

Maybe but remember the police were involved a much different thing.

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t in Toms River, New Jersey

81 months ago

Janice said: Maybe but remember the police were involved a much different thing.

Hello Janice, It may be of some help if it is understood that the sw graduate never once, ever, during the entire conversation with the worker on that phone, never expressed a suicide threat. Never expressed a suicide plan or threat.
The sw graduated explained to the worker over the phone about having lost an identical twin. A twin of the sw graduated who passed away that very day & did verbally state to the worker on the phone “how can I ever face a day without my twin”, & continued to wonder “without my daily phone calls from my twin, how will it ever be possible to go on to face a new day”? Being human and in deep grief – & the sw lives alone, in a new home, in a new community, the sw graduate needed merely to “talk” & placed the phone call where it advertised “if you need to talk, call”.
The sw graduate does take full responsibility for making such a comment & understands the concern and the thinking of the worker on the phone. Regrets having the police contacted.
And yes, Janice, in retrospect, the sw graduate regrets making the phone call. Is does, however, appear placing that phone call was a terrible decision, one that is negatively effecting employment. It seems that it may very well be a reality that Prospective employee may not believe it will be a wise decision making on their part to take a chance on the sw graduate once a review of the abstract report by the police has been obtained. The sw graduated now assumes that an abstract police report is being released. Legal Aid has a long waiting list.

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Janice

81 months ago

I am not saying she did anything wrong and my heart goes out to her losing a twin. I have siblings and I know it is not the same as a twin. I am also not giving professional advice but believe if it is coming out anyway I would volunteer the information first and tell briefly a simple background and repeat I feel like I reached out to a wrong source, that it got blown out of proportion and state she has found better ways to deal with grief in the future.

Use the experience to her advantage as a learning experience rather than fear it will come out. Not all jobs are going to require this type of background search, just a clear search whit the licensing board. I was also suggesting the hotline worker may have responded to something and over reacted. Talking abut not knowing how to go on after the loss of a twin is different than threatening suicide. Is the hotline workers trained and what is their background. These are the things I would explore to choose the best strategy.

Now saying all this I still say I am not representing her and do not know details. I am only speculating or problem solving how to handle the situation. I also say use this as a learning tool. I check out different sources to serpentine how they will handle my clients, ho difficult the source is to work with and theses things said I am not sure I would ever each out to a suicide hotline knowing what happened..

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t in Toms River, New Jersey

81 months ago

Janice said: I am not saying she did anything wrong and my heart goes out to her losing a twin. I have siblings and I know it is not the same as a twin. I am also not giving professional advice but believe if it is coming out anyway I would volunteer the information first and tell briefly a simple background and repeat I feel like I reached out to a wrong source, that it got blown out of proportion and state she has found better ways to deal with grief in the future.

Use the experience to her advantage as a learning experience rather than fear it will come out. Not all jobs are going to require this type of background search, just a clear search whit the licensing board. I was also suggesting the hotline worker may have responded to something and over reacted. Talking abut not knowing how to go on after the loss of a twin is different than threatening suicide. Is the hotline workers trained and what is their background. These are the things I would explore to choose the best strategy.

Now saying all this I still say I am not representing her and do not know details. I am only speculating or problem solving how to handle the situation. I also say use this as a learning tool. I check out different sources to serpentine how they will handle my clients, ho difficult the source is to work with and theses things said I am not sure I would ever each out to a suicide hotline knowing what happened..

Janice, the sw graduate would like to communicate to you "much appreciation for your wisdom & generosity in sharing your understanding as well as your sw knowledge". The sw graduate would hope to have the opportunity during her/his professional career to "pass it on" (kindness you've shared) to another individual in need. Yes, the experience has been a learning tool, as we all may agree that to live life well is to experience growth and oftentimes growth involves pain as well as wisdom. Thanks for everything!

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Janice

81 months ago

We learn and grow the most when we are struggling. No one in this world has no difficult experiences. Some of my strongest skills as a social worker are intuition, observation, empathy and understanding and the guts to confront issues most people are afraid to confront. If we find ourselves trying to avoid a situation it may be fear based, may be past events we need to work on and ultimately we need to confront ourselves and limitations to help our clients. I had a boss at my first job that said something smart. . He said "If you continue to do what your did, you continue to get what you got." I took that to heart and try to confront my fears and try change when things do not seem to work right. Finally we cannot change the past but because I love being a social worker I always try to learn from bad experiences and use the lesson to help my clients. We truly are lucky to share the personal struggles of our clients and what is more successful than knowing they know we understand and care. Watch the movie "Pay it Forward.

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Lem in Greensboro, North Carolina

79 months ago

You shouldn't have to disclose your hospital visit - that is covered by HIPPA. And unless you were on petition papers to be committed for involuntary hospitalization - there shouldn't be a "record" of your ride to the hospital by police in a background check. You weren't arrested. You simply were taking to the hospital for an assessment - they do it all the time for citizens.

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t in Toms River, New Jersey

78 months ago

Lem in Greensboro, North Carolina said: You shouldn't have to disclose your hospital visit - that is covered by HIPPA. And unless you were on petition papers to be committed for involuntary hospitalization - there shouldn't be a "record" of your ride to the hospital by police in a background check. You weren't arrested. You simply were taking to the hospital for an assessment - they do it all the time for citizens.

Dear Lem in Greensboro, So wonderful to read the information you’ve provided and just to let you know that
I was NOT on petition papers to be committed for involuntary hospitalization. It was me reaching out, in retrospect, to the wrong help line; I should have reached out to a counselor serving those grieving the death of a loved one.
Gem, are you absolutely certain that when an individual willing & voluntarily agrees to be driven to the hospital for psy. evaluation by local police & shortly thereafter is then released from the hospital within a few hours - - that trip will NOT appear on abstract?
I understand a bit about HIPPA , yet, I must admit not in full details.
Question. When you state “there Shouldn’t be a record” , do you mean that there Shouldn’t be but there is always a chance there WILL be a record? Do you know for certain; absolute certainly that that particular incident will NOT appear on the abstract?
I've ask this question to you, because its been my plan to disclose my hospital visit while interviewing, with the hope that once I've explained, a job will be extended my way. I still continue to be uncertain as what to do, disclose or not to disclose that is another question, an issue of concern for me.

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Lem in Greensboro, North Carolina

78 months ago

You do not need to disclose your hospital visit. The interviewer does not disclose their medical issues (i.e., needing Ambien to sleep, High Blood Pressure, etc.) to you and neither should you. As you work in the field of mental health, you will soon learn that many of your colleagues have their own therapists or have received mental health treatment in the past, or will receive it in the future. There really is no stigma attached to it. I understand your concerns about the police transport. Most county courthouses have an area where you can do a database search for free and see what pop ups - with your name. For a police ride, you won't be in there. You can usually pay 5 bucks and get a more detailed "criminal background" check. But once again - you weren't arrested. So - there is nothing to check.

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t in Toms River, New Jersey

78 months ago

Lem in Greensboro, North Carolina said: You do not need to disclose your hospital visit. The interviewer does not disclose their medical issues (i.e., needing Ambien to sleep, High Blood Pressure, etc.) to you and neither should you. As you work in the field of mental health, you will soon learn that many of your colleagues have their own therapists or have received mental health treatment in the past, or will receive it in the future. There really is no stigma attached to it. I understand your concerns about the police transport. Most county courthouses have an area where you can do a database search for free and see what pop ups - with your name. For a police ride, you won't be in there. You can usually pay 5 bucks and get a more detailed "criminal background" check. But once again - you weren't arrested. So - there is nothing to check.

Lem, GREAT NEWS! Thanks for your expert information & expert insight. Truly feel like a million pound weight has been lifted off of my entire body, mind & spirit, thanks again.

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t in Toms River, New Jersey

76 months ago

Lem in Greensboro, North Carolina said: You do not need to disclose your hospital visit. The interviewer does not disclose their medical issues (i.e., needing Ambien to sleep, High Blood Pressure, etc.) to you and neither should you. As you work in the field of mental health, you will soon learn that many of your colleagues have their own therapists or have received mental health treatment in the past, or will receive it in the future. There really is no stigma attached to it. I understand your concerns about the police transport. Most county courthouses have an area where you can do a database search for free and see what pop ups - with your name. For a police ride, you won't be in there. You can usually pay 5 bucks and get a more detailed "criminal background" check. But once again - you weren't arrested. So - there is nothing to check.

Lem, hi, i'm working with a client, a nursing student, 2nd year. the client has recently been arrested for DWI. Client reports having a spotless clean record up until this pass weekend when arrested. Client has requested my help in determining if it is possible to "Fail" a criminal background check? and if so, will it prevent her from securing a nursing position? My research tells me, well, her arrest will be NO secret & it will in fact appear on public record & on a background check, yet, don't know very much about the meaning of "failing a BC". Do you? Conducted research and as far as I can determine about securing a nursing position, well, it is indeed very possible to secure a position, additionally, I've reached out to a dir. of nursing in a LTNF, & she informs me that my client should be able to land a nursing job even with the DWI. Lem, do you have anything to share further on this topic? Do you know whether Emp. possible with a DWI in nursing???

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Lem in Elon, North Carolina

76 months ago

t in Toms River, New Jersey said: Lem, hi, i'm working with a client, a nursing student, 2nd year. the client has recently been arrested for DWI. Client reports having a spotless clean record up until this pass weekend when arrested. Client has requested my help in determining if it is possible to "Fail" a criminal background check? and if so, will it prevent her from securing a nursing position? My research tells me, well, her arrest will be NO secret & it will in fact appear on public record & on a background check, yet, don't know very much about the meaning of "failing a BC". Do you? Conducted research and as far as I can determine about securing a nursing position, well, it is indeed very possible to secure a position, additionally, I've reached out to a dir. of nursing in a LTNF, & she informs me that my client should be able to land a nursing job even with the DWI. Lem, do you have anything to share further on this topic? Do you know whether Emp. possible with a DWI in nursing???

Unfortunately, we are human and make mistakes. The nursing student will be able to get a job. It will be difficult initially, but still possible. The good thing is she will need to disclose her arrest for DWI on all applications. Typically, the applicant is given the chance to "explain" any details about the incident. This will allow future employers to determine whether or not they want to continue to consider her as an employee.

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t in Toms River, New Jersey

76 months ago

Lem in Elon, North Carolina said: Unfortunately, we are human and make mistakes. The nursing student will be able to get a job. It will be difficult initially, but still possible. The good thing is she will need to disclose her arrest for DWI on all applications. Typically, the applicant is given the chance to "explain" any details about the incident. This will allow future employers to determine whether or not they want to continue to consider her as an employee.

Thanks Lem for you input. As you may have realize by now - I do respect and appreciate the knowledge you share! Will pass the information onto my client.

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JUDY in Jamaica, New York

74 months ago

I am so sorry for the unnessary drama that you have been subjected to due to what appears to be another persons lack of training/experience.I would say that in your moment of dispair and devestation due to the loss and separation of your sibling,(non the less a twin)your effort to reach out for comfort by sharing with someone would normally prove to be a wise decision.However,and unfortunately in this particular instance it has proven to be of further devestation.Perhaps you can look into having these records sealed.Also usually these 1800 help lines record all calls that come in, perhaps you can request a fair hearing and this tape/recording can be reviewed as evidence and proof of your statements on the day of the event. This is a SHAME, SHAME,SHAME,perhaps you should contact the news HELP ME HOWARD. GOOD LUCK

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Anonymous

74 months ago

The crisis call center worker should certainly have been fired AND sued! Disgusting! A real cruel backstabbing..

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diana in Falls Church, Virginia

54 months ago

Anonymous said: The crisis call center worker should certainly have been fired AND sued! Disgusting! A real cruel backstabbing..

I couldn't agree more. And how disgusting that ANYONE would consider that a reason not to hire a person. Seems like the ultimate example of piling-on.

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yule in Arlington Heights, Illinois

45 months ago

What to take home with you from this story? DO NOT CALL THE SUICIDE HOTLINE!! LOL!!

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Hopeful in Plymouth, Massachusetts

43 months ago

Hi: Has anyone used the new Section 12(a) for LICSWs that can pink slip a client to the ER for a suicide assessment?

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Lem in Greensboro, North Carolina

43 months ago

yule in Arlington Heights, Illinois said: What to take home with you from this story? DO NOT CALL THE SUICIDE HOTLINE!! LOL!!

The hotline serves it purposes and helps hundreds of people a day, I'm sure.

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Lem in Greensboro, North Carolina

43 months ago

Hopeful in Plymouth, Massachusetts said: Hi: Has anyone used the new Section 12(a) for LICSWs that can pink slip a client to the ER for a suicide assessment?

Not sure about MA - but it sounds like the normal petition process for NC folks. Now there has been a pilot program in NC about LCSW's doing the 1st evals for client's possibly needing hospitalization in rural areas. I believe the consensus was they should be used as a last resort if the MD, NP or PA's where unable to do the first committal.

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Anonymous in Amherst, Massachusetts

39 months ago

tony in Howell, New Jersey said: a newly graduated social worker (sw undergraduate) was recently grieving a death of a loved one who died earlier that morning. The new sw graduate then placed a phone call to a suicide hotline merely to talk.

I am not an attorney, this is not legal advice:

The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) protects three groups of people: (a) those with disabilities, (b) those who are NOT disabled but have been formally (incorrectly) diagnosed as such, and (c) those who are not disabled but who are presumed to be such.

I would consult with (a) legal counsel, (b) the local disability activist group, (c) the state antidiscrimination folk/EEOC, (d) the local ACLU chapter -- this person comes under the latter two definitions of ADA and hence not hiring him/her/it constitutes discrimination.

The nice thing about this is that while they could argue that stable mental health is a BFOQ (Bona Fide Occupational Qualification -- legitimate need for the employer to demand, like ability to drive a car for a taxicab driver), the fact that it was unfounded makes this point moot. So if they find the psych commit, and then inquire and find it is unfounded, it would like being asking if you were Black and then having been told you were, having to prove that they didn't reject your employment because of that. (Employer de facto has burden of proof in discrim case, not right but reality.)

Lesson to be learned here: Don't trust the mental health profession. Sorry folks, but some of us already know that. And for those who need help, many of them know it too...

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jason1

28 months ago

t in Toms River, New Jersey said: Lem, hi, i'm working with a client, a nursing student, 2nd year. the client has recently been arrested for DWI. Client reports having a spotless clean record up until this pass weekend when arrested. Client has requested my help in determining if it is possible to "Fail" a criminal background check? and if so, will it prevent her from securing a nursing position? My research tells me, well, her arrest will be NO secret & it will in fact appear on public record & on a background check, yet, don't know very much about the meaning of "failing a BC". Do you? Conducted research and as far as I can determine about securing a nursing position, well, it is indeed very possible to secure a position, additionally, I've reached out to a dir. of nursing in a LTNF, & she informs me that my client should be able to land a nursing job even with the DWI. Lem, do you have anything to share further on this topic? Do you know whether Emp. possible with a DWI in nursing???

She need not worry..no one is hiring nurses anyway...

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priscler in Yuma, Arizona

27 months ago

Are you sure that this is showing up in the background check or your wondering if its a possibility since that person is not getting hired? The reason why i asked this is because to my acknowledge a background check does not consist a medical background to that extreme. Only F.B.I does stuff like that, not social services. Social services or anything relating to sw is a consistent of a background of drug screen, any type of crime, and references. I really doubt that they go to a medical visit. Sounds impossible to me. She/He may not be getting hired for other reasons. You got to remember that we live in hard times and SW jobs are very competitive to get in.

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