Inside The Life of an IMAlive Volunteer

from New York, NY
My life is about my daughters, my family, and science. I have decided early on that I will never stop learning and growing, and I am currently close to achieving my second degree – this time in science.
I have been affected by suicide since my very first days, and I realized very early on that suicide is an issue that people avoid discussing openly, for fear of the discomfort it might bring. I noticed that suicide is approached with a sort of a shame, and pinned to weakness and selfishness. I had become interested in finding out the reason for this, as well as in finding ways to change this viewpoint.
I realized that the way to start to bring about change is to be there for people who find themselves in a crisis and are considering suicide, and IMAlive has given me the opportunity to do just that. Being able to listen, to help, and to lend hope to someone who feels alone and hopeless has brought more meaning to my life than words can begin to describe. This work has taught me the invaluable skill of truly listening without judgment, and has uncovered for me that my true passion in life is to find ways to defeat the stigma of mental illness and suicide, the beginning of which IMAlive has made possible for me by giving me the opportunity to write and address the issue.
But even more than that, IMAlive has become a shining reminder to me that the world is a kind place filled with caring people. It is here that I found a family of volunteers and supervisors who truly care about changing the world into a safer, better, more sincere and caring place for everyone – the kind of world in which I want my daughters to grow up – and I consider it an honor and a privilege to be a part of this incredible team.

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