Organization: Crisis Text Line, Inc.
Volunteer Service: Since 2019
What is the organization’s mission?
Crisis Text Line, Inc., is a 24/7 support resource for anyone in a moment of crisis who needs help de-escalating a situation and talking through the challenges they’re facing. Individuals can connect with a trained Crisis Counselor via a secured text platform to talk through their situation, whatever it may be, and understand additional resources for safety planning, if needed.
How did you get involved with this organization?
I wanted to give back, but I needed a flexible option. I know some people who have benefited from the services provided by Crisis Text Line and, from their experiences, I felt volunteering as a Crisis Counselor would be rewarding. I found it easy to get involved. Volunteers complete a 30-hour training program prior to going live on their text platform, and a support specialist is available on every shift to assist.
What have you found to be the most rewarding part of volunteering?
I would say feeling like I am able to actively support my community and do something helpful for the people around me. I know that, in life, some actions take a while to see the impact, but with volunteering it is almost immediate. Especially with this type of volunteering, there’s a clear distinction between when a person reaches out in an agitated state to when they leave the conversation feeling calm and in control of their situation because of the assistance you provided.
Can you share a memorable experience with us?
Yes, I remember the first time my support specialist helped walk me through a difficult conversation with a texter. Having their calm, reassuring presence in this situation helped me do the work I needed to for someone else and made the situation less intimidating. Every conversation on the Crisis Text Line is unique and treated as a learning experience. I’ve learned to always ask questions directly and explicitly so I can get a full understanding of the person’s situation. I can’t make assumptions about what they are going through or how they’re dealing with it.
How do you feel volunteering has changed you as a person?
It’s improved my emotional intelligence and made me more sensitive to the people around me. I am more confident in my ability to help others outside of the platform because of my experience and resource connections through Crisis Text Line. These skills are also translatable into the workplace in providing patient and empathetic service to our customers.