In one of the early Harry Potter books, Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, tells his students, “Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it.” It’s a very simple but powerful statement. There are two parts to the equation. The person in need has to take the risk of asking for help, and there has to be someone listening who can respond. Both the helper and the person needing help must have some willingness to engage and be changed by the interaction.
In J.K. Rowling’s novels, Harry grows up with an emotionally abusive aunt and uncle. Like many who grow up in such circumstances, he is stubbornly independent. He has learned to rely on himself, because his painful experiences at home have shaken his trust in others. Harry’s difficulty in asking for or accepting help is a recurring theme throughout the 7-book narrative. At many points in the story, his decision to take the risk of reaching out marks a turning point. His friendships falter at times, but ultimately, they sustain him. He triumphs, and grows to healthy adulthood.
At Oregon Partnership’s Crisis Line Program, help will always be given to those who ask for it. For those who have the courage to pick up the phone and call, there will always be a compassionate, well-trained crisis worker who answers, ready to help.
We help by listening and caring, brainstorming coping skills, exploring suicidal thoughts, building safety plans and identifying resources. We will walk into the dark and look together for the light. We’ve been helped along the way and now we want to give back. We are changed and enriched by the experience of helping.
We hope our callers will feel supported and strengthened in their journey toward health.