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Benefit of Volunteering Goes Both Ways

“I wanted to send my reflections on last night’s phone responder listening shift at the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline (ISPH).  I appreciated the volunteers’ willingness to let me observe their interaction with callers and to answer my questions.  I realize from the few hours I spent that there is a lot to learn about how to effectively interact with callers. It takes patience, great listening skills, lots of resources, and a stockpile of good questions.  I believe there is so much I can learn about empathy and patience from volunteering. Secondly, I love the fact that this group of volunteers, with various backgrounds, is taking time of out of their busy lives to help those in need.  I noticed each volunteer serving at the Hotline feels passionately about suicide prevention, and that passion is reflected in the empathic way they interact with callers.  I also learned about the power of listening and providing resources in order to save lives.  While the volunteers answering the phones are not clinical professionals, they still have an incredible ability to help people.  I cannot wait to begin volunteering as a crisis phone responder at ISPH and to learn all I can from the experience and look forward to supporting the cause of suicide prevention.”

Nichole