Meet the first 10 Crisis Responders through our partnership
Each Crisis Responder took a 10 hour training course and spent 30-40 additional hours practicing with other volunteers and supervisors before taking the final Competency Certification Exam. They are now volunteering online to support people who struggle with suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, other mental illnesses, and difficulties in life.
Patty from New Hampshire, USA – 165 volunteer hours
“I am a stay at home mother of four looking to do good in the world…I have the time and the deep desire to make a difference in any way I can.”
Jennifer from Virginia, USA – 12 volunteer hours
“I’ve been in your shoes. I’ve looked around and needed help and couldn’t find any. To be a part of an organization that provides help to those struggling with depression and other disorders is an honor for me. Please know that no one is truly alone-there is always help.”
I would like to thank Random Acts (and Misha and Jensen) for helping me help others in crisis. I have been on the other side and it’s hard to know where to turn. I feel that ImAlive has found a perfect way to help those in crisis and it’s a wonderful feeling knowing that I have the opportunity to help others. Without Random Acts supporting IMAlive (and the wonderful support from John Plonski, Elena, Clara, and the other supervisors) I’m not sure I would have discovered how rewarding it is to pay it forward and assist people the way that I have been assisted in the past. I had the opportunity to help at DCCon this past February and am looking forward to helping at conventions in the future. Jennifer.
Jane from Georgia, USA – 21 volunteer hours
“My daughter has BPD and has attempted suicide several times. I’d like to be able to help others with my knowledge of mental illness.”
My life has been touched by suicide more than once over the years but it was the last of them, my youngest brother 2 years ago, that finally gave me the push to do what I had been considering for some time. Get involved! Volunteer for a hotline or find another way to make a difference. Enter Misha and Jensen with an opportunity to do just that, to join the team at IMAlive.
Those of us who were in the first group have only just started our journey as responders and one thing I think all of may have learned, doing this job changes you, changes how you think, how you see others and teaches many of us that we did not really know how to listen. Thanks to our wonderful training supervisors now in the “field”, we have all embarked on what may be one of the greatest learning experiences of our lives, learning to listen and not just hear, to reflect instead of judge, to allow the PIC to think rather than bombarding them with “you should”, or even worse, I would if I were you” and most of all to offer empathy rather than pity.
It makes a difference in how I see many things in my life as well, but for the PIC it can be the difference between dying today or living for at least a little longer. I am not perfect at this, I do not expect to be. I know that in time I will learn to be better, IMAlive is a wonderful organization to learn to walk this path of life from both for us, the responders and for those who come to us for help. I am proud to be a part of it.
Aimee from New York, USA – 105 volunteer hours
“I believe that we’re a network of little lights, and the loss of even one light makes our world a little darker. I want to be able to help people to remember that they are important, vivid, valuable, and frankly amazing!”
Janice from New Jersey, USA – 16 volunteer hours
“I think it is very important to be there for someone who is struggling and I feel that sometimes what is most valuable initially is just to be able to provide a warm heart and open mind for someone who needs to talk and to also be able to offer resources for additional support.”
My reason for wanting to help others with anxiety/depression is simple: I truly understand the feeling and know that sometimes the single most helpful thing is just to have someone listen and pass no judgement. The training that IMAlive through Random Acts provided to me has also been invaluable in my own life, as I have learned that what most of us think of as helpful encouragement to someone who is suffering is often impeding him or her from discovering their own small steps to feeling strong and to empower themselves to find lasting solutions to their situation.
Proshonni from Bangladesh – 58 volunteer hours
“Why do people have to have a reason to help people? I went through depression for a long time and I know how tough it is to get on with your life. Just remember the choices you made before made you who you are. So don’t regret your past. Just live the present.”
It’s amazing to see how making a total stranger feel better makes you so happy. Thanks to Random Acts for giving me this chance. And thanks to you Misha Collins (By the way I’m a HUGE fan of yours).
Lara from Washington, USA – 54 volunteer hours
“I’m a good listener and I have completed hotline training in the past but never had a chance to use it. I’m glad to have the time to help others in crisis now”
I wanted to join the crisis hotline because I do not want anyone to feel isolated or unwanted. I think it is important to provide others with a safe place to share their feelings, good and bad, so that they know they are being listened to and heard. Thank you for the opportunity to be a volunteer.
Leah from Illinois, USA – New Responder
“I live with MS and am currently taking care of my father who has cancer. Helping others helps me keep going”.
I have been faced with a lot of personal tragedy in the past 12 months. I lost a 24 year old brother in Sept, a Grandfather in Feb, and my Father passed away July 23rd all to different kinds of cancer. Another brother who is 24 now was confirmed to have terminal melanoma in April and I myself was diagnosed with stage 1 (I’m lucky) melanoma in January.
When you are faced with such overwhelming grief and fear the world can certainly seem like a dark place. The one thing I realized that I needed to hold onto was that I needed to find something good from all of this. If I could do that then the pain had purpose and it became a lifeline. I got the email saying I was accepted into the beta program earlier this year and knew this was my opportunity to take my experience and use it to help others. I understand the depths of darkness people find themselves in and now I have the chance to be a light in the dark for them. It’s truly amazing how having someone listen to you with an open heart devoid of judgement can begin to heal you. I am so honored and grateful to be able to do that for others. I can’t begin to thank you enough for giving me the ability to do that. I am in awe of the depth of kindness that is in the world if you look for it and this ‘hotline’ is a shining example of that. Thank you, thank you, thank you to the 3 of you for all that you do and know that your project is being handled with the utmost care and dedication by an exceptional group of people.
P.S. Gishwhes was fantastic, you are certainly my kind of “crazy” 😉
Sam from New York, USA – New Responder 3 volunteer hours
“I’m a caring and compassionate person and I want to help others. I didn’t have the confidence before I took the training but now I feel ready and able to help”.
Sarah from California, USA – New Responder 3 volunteer hours
“I have experience being a crisis counselor for Veterans, but would like to expand my skills and learn how to help online.”