There's always an undercurrent, right?
I digress. Here's my advice. Please don't give out the home phone numbers or personal cell phone numbers of counselors, therapists, psychologists or social workers whom you know personally and intimately (IE: friends or family members) to people you meet on the steet who are having a bad day. It is most simply a violation of privacy and trust. With a liberal sprinkling of liability implications.
Now comes the rant.
A not so close family member (which is ironic, considering that a family member by this title would normally be very close relationship wise) whom I haven't spoken to since early April, yes, gave my phone number out to someone (whom I'm sure is quite lovely), with some very serious problems (much better served by professionals in her own local, geographical area - which is a long way away from me) and someone I've never met.
Thanks. I sure had a fun time trying to decipher her upset message on my cell phone. It was also super fun hearing that you had given her my number. Glad you still have it You haven't managed to use it to return any of my phone calls in the last 7 months.
Meh. (For many good, logical reasons, I purposefully chose to call family member instead of unknown lady and leave appropriate local referral information on voicemail so he could pass it over himself. Give him some practice into appropriate service brokerage since he seems to be delving into that type of thing).
This is just like when I'd get cornered with crisis in grocery stores when I was doing social work in a rural Eastern Oregon county. There's nothing like talking coping strategies when all you really want to do is pick out your produce, go home, love on your family members (probably not the one who's giving out your home number to anyone and everyone) and have quiet, peaceful time. I love helping people. I love doing it well. I also love keeping a little bit of space carved out around my personal life.
I don't love strained family poo poo. But. I should probably have gotten used to it already.
If there's a bright spot in this, I finally found the gumption to tell family member, calmly, that I am quite disappointed in this decision. Gumption also allowed me to tell him that ignoring my phone calls (including this one! it happened on his voicemail!) for seven months was also relatively inappropriate. (We're talking 3 or 4 calls here - nothing more).
Yay me! Boundaries!