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It’s Not Healthy To Be That Impatient

, , , , , | Right | December 29, 2021

I work as the receptionist for a charity in a specific sector, say mental health. We don’t offer direct mental health support, but rather we do policy and advocacy work around the topic and provide statutory training for workers in the sector. We also have a signposting helpline which gives people needing support the details of organisations who can help them more directly. The charity has existed for a few months longer than I have been alive. It is called something like National Mental Health, and we regularly get calls like this.

Caller: “Hi. [Long, uninterruptable explanation of their problems and situation]. What should I do?”

Me: “Hi. We are a policy and training organisation, so we do not provide direct support, I’m afraid, but what I can do is put you through to our signposting service and they will be able to able to help you find the best organisation to assist you.”

Caller: “But you’re called National Mental Health! Why won’t you help me?”

Me: “Yes, I know it’s a bit confusing but [repetition of previous explanation of the organisation and helpline in different words]. I am the receptionist, so I can’t answer your question, but I can put you through to the helpline.”

Caller: “That’s f****** ridiculous. False advertising! You shouldn’t be allowed to do that! Why are you called National Mental Health if you don’t help with mental health?”

Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way. I am afraid all I can do to help you get support is to put you through to the helpline. Would you like me to do that?”

Caller: “F*** you!” *Click*

I understand the frustration and I do agree that the charity’s name is misleading, but a) I am the lowest-paid person with the least power in the organisation and b) I was a foetus the size of a strawberry when the organisation was named. What do callers think shouting and swearing at me will achieve?

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