Inside The Life of an IMAlive Volunteer

Jade from the U.K

I started volunteering for IMAlive because I wanted to help. Many of my friends had been dealing with stressful situations and mental health problems and even some had suicidal thoughts. I felt helpless, not knowing what to say or do.

I first found out about IMAlive through the You Are Not Alone campaign by Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins (with generous help from Jared Padalecki and his campaigns with AKF). They started talking about an SPN Crisis Network. Which led me to IMAlive. And now I am here. 200 hours of crisis intervention later. It’s had many ups and downs. Many conversations. Many tears shed of my own, with many cups of teas and power naps.

I remember signing up to be a volunteer for IMAlive through Random Acts. I began training in September, 2017. I started live shifts in November that year and then did some volunteering during the UK SPN Convention in May 2018. It was such a great experience, this whole journey, I’ve learnt a lot about myself, and I don’t feel as helpless / hopeless now when my friends are feeling down, as this taught me, listening is very important, and sometimes, just listening is all it takes to help someone.

I don’t just volunteer with IMAlive. I’m also the United Kingdom, South Regional Representative for Random Acts. I’m also at University, studying Sport and Exercise Science, with a sports scholarship, in my final year, and on starting a work placement too in psychology. I also work in a bar/restaurant out of term time and I am also a football (soccer for you Americans) referee (the one in black with the whistle and cards). So, it gets tough, balancing everything, working, university work, training and performing and then trying to socialise. But, it’s worth it. I learn so much from everything I do, each thing presents something new, something different to learn.

I’m so thankful to everyone I have met with each opportunity I have taken, and I hope to continue this journey, helping people, spreading kindness and working hard.

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