Talking to one of you over the phone lifted weight off of me when I was feeling lonely and like I was losing who I was. Having someone truly listen gave me energy and strength to see how doing some things to take care of myself better is possible, and it is not all so overwhelming. I am completing a Bachelor of Social Work and have been accepted into a Master of Social Work program. I have been feeling the effects of giving too much without debriefing and re-energizing, and was hurting a lot when I called you at Distress Centres. I know that the work I do can give energy and strength to others, just like you gave to me. I appreciate the anonymity, though I wish I could praise and give credit to the counsellor who I spoke to. She was excellent, thanks to your thoughtful, amazing training, I’m sure. Thank you and take care of yourself by talking to each other (as the counsellor on the phone suggested).
A peer and service user
"I rarely run out of words when describing what it is like to be a responder at Distress Centres: it is rewarding, challenging, surprising, and profound. It is unlike anything else I have ever done. Through this organization, I have had the privilege to speak with some of the most interesting people one can imagine, and although these folks may be in a struggle, something happens when they tell their stories and share their thoughts and feelings. Their light, for lack of a better word, endures and then illuminates—and it is fortified in this process and so is mine. I hope to be a volunteer here for many years."
Jesse – 408 HELP Line Responder
"When I began volunteering at Distress Centres, I never imagined what a positive impact this type of work would have on the lives of others as well as on my own life. Distress Centres has provided me with the opportunity to refine my listening and helping skills, to become a more empathetic and nonjudgmental listener, and to be involved in something that I am truly passionate about. I always look forward to my shifts at Distress Centres, not only because I enjoy the work I do in the phone room, but because the staff members and other volunteers provide such a warm and inviting environment. There aren’t too many places that are filled with such caring and empathetic people in one room! Volunteering for Distress Centres has become more than just a volunteer position for me; it has become part of who I am. Perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned that one phone call can truly make a difference in someone’s life."
Alycia - 408 HELP Line Responder