San Antonio – Haven for Hope staff encounter people at their worst, said Vice President of Transformational Services David Hewitt.
A big focus is training and educating staff on spotting and intervening in a crisis for clients and themselves.
“We have suicide prevention trainings, we have mental health days that clients and our staff can take it any time,” Hewitt explained. “All of our staff go through de-escalation training and crisis intervention training. We know that a lot of our clients face trauma. They come from pretty traumatic backgrounds at times, and that we want to make sure that we’re not putting a punitive environment in place and that somebody who’s going through a crisis or a breakdown, that we’re able to intervene with care and with assistance instead of a punishment.”
The changing economic tide has brought different groups of people and families to seek help, which can sometimes take a toll on people.
“I think you’re seeing the stress, the multigenerational stress from the parents not being able to afford rent from children, being out of school for years, from the instability for families, sleeping on different couches, bouncing from hotels to hotels.”
Last week emergency responders were called to the campus for an attempted suicide, which doesn’t usually make the news because of its delicate nature. Hewitt said it’s a rare occurrence. But there’s a big focus on educating everyone about the resources available.
Anyone in need can call or text the National Suicide Prevention and Crisis Lifeline, 988, to receive confidential help.