The following are real testimonials from our Helpline Volunteers.
From our 24/7 Crisis Line:
As a Volunteer Helpline Worker at Distress Centre Durham, the Durham Region's toll-free, confidential 24/7 helpline, I have learned how to utilize the active listening process to help provide emotional support and a safe, non-judgemental environment to callers in distress, crisis, and emergency situations. I have demonstrated compassion, empathy, and respect to callers experiencing a broad range of issues, such as addiction, abuse, mental health issues, poverty, and suicide, and have become a more open-minded and tolerant person. Listening to the stories of personal struggle and spiritual strength have all taught me about persistence, patience, and the human need for acceptance, validation, and reassurance. I have realized more than ever that no matter who you are, what you believe, where you come from, and when you were born, everyone wants to feel that they matter in this world. It has been rewarding being a listening ear to callers in their darkest times and giving others a sense of hope in the journey of life. Christopher, 911 Emergency and Call Centre Communications Student (2016)
When I was searching for a volunteer position, I knew I wanted to work directly with the people the organization served. The thought of responding to callers in distress, however, seemed somewhat intimidating at first. But as I went through the volunteer application processes and training, I was quickly assured I could do this. As an IBM retiree, I know first-hand about the dedicated efforts required from an organization's leaders to always act professionally and maintain high standards. DCD's leaders equal these qualities in so many ways.
The training, mentoring and support you'll receive to learn how to be a helpline volunteer is exemplary. It enables you to feel confident taking calls and feel comfortable knowing you're never alone because experienced, caring, dedicated staff is available to volunteers day and night. You never stop learning at DCD. As new information and methods about handling callers in distress becomes available, you are kept informed.
The call centre is a welcoming, cozy place with words of encouragement posted on the walls. I not only look forward to stepping up to the challenge of listening to callers but also to meeting and talking to other volunteers. Everyone I've met has been amazingly friendly, helpful and encouraging.
The high standards and caring nature of staff and volunteers assure me I've made the right choice to be a volunteer at DCD. They make me feel special and appreciated which in turn encourages me to do the best I can for distressed callers."
From our ONTX (Ontario Online and Text Crisis Services) responders:
As a volunteer for the new ONTX (Ontario Online and Text Crisis Services) service by Distress and Crisis Ontario, I have the opportunity to help provide emotional support to visitors in a safe, confidential environment. In a generation where technology is quickly advancing, I respect how Distress and Crisis Ontario is adapting to an era where the Internet and text messaging are becoming common methods of communication. ONTX has shown to be a valuable service for people who are not comfortable using the phone and prefer the option of chatting or texting where others cannot overhear the conversation. During my time with ONTX, I have the ability to utilize the skills I have learned from Distress Centre Durham, including active listening, crisis intervention, and suicide risk assessment. My experiences talking with visitors from all over Canada have helped me see the thread of humanity that runs through every individual. I will always remember one conversation I had with a visitor when I said that there are moments when we need the help and support of others to reflect the light we sometimes don't see in ourselves.