Our volunteer Crisis Counselors are the reason we’re able to do what we do. They’re heroes without capes! We asked them, “What does being a Crisis Counselor do for you?” and their answers knocked our socks off. Here are just a few.
- I’ve been a Crisis Counselor for a year. I never knew the impact being a CC would have until last year. Every time I pick up a conversation I know within those moments that person on the other end is impacted, whether it is big or small. It’s truly magical what happens in those moments and that in itself has changed my life. However, I never expected to change someone else’s life off the platform until last year. A homeless man was at a corner and I was hesitant to speak to him, but I trusted my training and did. His eyes glistened as I listened to his painful story. At the end of our conversation and with resources in his pocket he said, “God bless you – you didn’t have to do this.” I have reminisced about this day ever since. I may not know what will happen to him, and the same is true of our texters, but knowing you made someone feel less alone makes all the difference.
- Having experienced depression and isolation as a teenager, I was keen to spend my adulthood helping others in similar positions. The professional world asks me to spend 4 years in college before being able to enter grad school and start interning, and my home community has little respect or resources for a single female whippersnapper who just wants to make a difference.
- Enter Crisis Text Line, which I discovered while writing a paper on suicide. I can help! I can make a difference! I can use my strengths, empowered by my experiences, training, and ongoing supervision, to change and save lives! After all the pain and rejection I’ve experienced, volunteering with Crisis Text Line validates my potential to give to others and has given me the courage to appreciate myself. It has helped me get through those 4 years of college and hopefully, into grad school, because these years are not a waste of time waiting for graduation – they are time spent being my best.
- It affirms my purpose.
- The feeling I encounter consistently as a Crisis Counselor is the fulfillment of “This is the work I was placed on the planet to do.” The characteristics of empathy, listening, and “being present” seem to be hard-wired in my being. For that realization, I am most grateful. When my purpose is put to proactive, positive use … well, cool! Let’s go, I say!
- It renews my motivation at a turning point in my life.
- I first read about Nancy Lublin and Crisis Text Line in the excellent New Yorker article “R U There?”. The youngest of my three sons was about to graduate from high school; I was about to turn 60. I wanted some new tasks. I am the oldest of seven children (plenty of drama), the mother of three sons. My teenage years were harrowing. When I read about Crisis Text Line, I was immediately drawn to the concept: easy access for teens (or anyone else) who needed an ear, while providing help for people from wherever I happened to be. I trained in the summer of 2015. Early days on the platform were nerve wracking, but the supervisors were fantastic and supportive. If you can write a sentence, have compassion, and can give your time, you can really make a difference.
- I struggled with a lot of mental health issues all throughout high school and through the start of college. Growing up feeling alone and experiencing bullying and emotional abuse, I reached out to crisis lines to seek support in heightened moments.Now, Crisis Text Line has given me an opportunity to give back to the mental health community. It has shown me that I can do crisis intervention – it isn’t impossible, as I previously thought. I’m so happy to have the opportunity to volunteer with such an amazing organization.
- A year ago, my 22-year-old son came close to suicide after years of managing social anxiety. It was a minor issue that stopped him, but it was enough to give him a chance to regroup and avoid a spontaneous decision with life-altering consequences for him and for those left behind. When I learned about Crisis Text Line through NPR, I doubted I was qualified to help people in crisis, but decided to trust the training. I have had many suicidal texters who needed a reason to hang on and stay distracted long enough to get to a safer space in their head. A year later my son shared that the changes he made this year allowed him to feel like he won’t sink that low again. That was the gift of a lifetime. If I can give that gift to someone else, my life will be well-lived.