The Canadian Mental Health Association is once more looking for volunteers to help man the local crisis hotline here in Williams Lake.
This effort is being headed by CMHA’s assistant crisis line manager and counsellor Tina Campbell. Campbell is a new addition to the CMHA team and is really happy to be working in her new job since leaving her old one at Safeway following the completion of her counselling diploma.
She explained that their location in Williams Lake is one of five locations throughout B.C. that make up the Interior Crisis Line that takes calls involving everything from suicide to someone not able to find their keys. The people who man this line are not professionals but simply ordinary people with a little training there to provide a “light on a dark day.”
Currently, they’re looking for around 10 volunteers who have a little time in their schedule to devote to the crisis line every week be they empty nesters, recent retirees or anyone who has found they have a little extra time on their hands. They’ll be holding a six-week-long training course starting Oct. 8 on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Campbell said, that will run an individual through anything they’ll need to know while manning the line. All applicants will be subject to a criminal background check.
“We’re basically looking for anybody who is really patient and someone who has really great listening skills. We’re not here to give advice, you don’t have to be a counsellor to be on the line, we’re just looking for somebody who can be a shoulder,” Campbell said. “We’re looking for general everyday people. People who have been through some stuff in everyday life often have the best tools and compassion.”
Anyone who signs up as a volunteer, Campbell said, will be signing a one-year application of committing four hours a week, as they keep the line open four hours a day from Monday to Saturday. Every month she and the other volunteers meet to discuss any challenges they may face and to have a little fun by rewarding them for their service.
“Our crisis line is a very rewarding position, what you put out you get back,” Campbell said. “They’re going to be joining an incredible group of people that are already involved in the line. I think it’s really great to be apart of something bigger that’s so positive for our community.”
Anyone who has any additional questions, concerns or who want to apply can stop by the front desk at the CMHA or give Campbell a call at 250-398-8220.