Inside The Life of an IMAlive Volunteer

Ramey

From Kansas, USA

The Wizard: “As for you, my galvanized friend, you want a heart. You don’t know how lucky you are not to have one. Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.”

Tinman: “But I still want one”

I have always loved The Wizard of Oz, probably because when I first saw it as a kid I thought it was so cool that Dorothy was from Kansas too! My name is Ramey and I spent all of my life living on a wheat farm outside of a small town in Kansas. If anyone has ever wondered why students in the US get three whole months off of school during the summer, it is because of harvest season and the farmers who still, to this day, provide food for our families. On top of my love for crisis intervention, I am also very passionate about educating people about where their food comes from and how the media is very misleading on topics involving agriculture.

Living in a small town has its challenges and usually mental health is even more stigmatized in these areas. When I felt out of place as a young adult, I didn’t feel like I had anyone to turn to. Volunteering with IMAlive has opened my eyes to a world outside of small-town, Midwest, USA. I got started with IMAlive because I needed volunteer hours for a student organization I am involved with on my campus. I didn’t want to just go through the motions and pick up trash or help at a homeless shelter for a day. I wanted to commit my time to something that I believe in—suicide prevention.  I only needed 10 volunteer hours to fulfill the requirement, but I am getting so much more out of it than checking that box! IMAlive has even helped me realize some of my own struggles and helped me understand myself better. I can now look back at certain times in my life and realize that hope was out there—I just had to go get it.

Going back to the Wizard of Oz quote above, our hearts will never be unbreakable. Anxiety, depression, PTSD, or anything else you may struggle with day-to-day might be part of your life. But, that doesn’t mean that it is not worth having a life. With life there is always possibility.

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