Inside the Life of an IMAlive Volunteer

Joyce 
from Canada
I first discovered IMALIVE when I desired to find a crisis hotline to volunteer at. I knew after studying and getting my Bachelor’s in Education in 2018 that although I liked working with youth, that my passion began to become crystal clear when I got to help students who were struggling emotionally or mentally. I discovered that the best part of my two student teaching practicums in 2017 was being there, listening to the kids when they went through problems at home or just wanted someone to listen.
I wanted to find the flexibility in order to balance full time work while volunteering, and IMALIVE was a great option as it allows both flexibility and both options for you to schedule when you can help people in crisis. I love helping people and listening to people, because I know when I personally went through a crisis in my first year of undergraduate studies, I felt overwhelmed, ashamed and quite frankly… alone. Going to my first initial consultation of therapy made me realize that it was OK to admit that I needed help. I want to be able to give back and do what I am passionate about: mental health.
My goal is to aspire to become a social worker/counselor in the future and I know that being able to help people in crisis will help give me the tools to broaden my perspective on how to best serve people. I love everything to do with learning about wellness, happiness, self-help and anything that advocates or puts an end to the stigma to mental illness.
In my free time you can catch me catching up on rest after work, learning new recipes online, reading lots of articles or wellness videos (like from Laura Santos), savouring sweet/salty snacks, or spending quality time with my friends or family members when I get the chance to. If I could be a life-long student without being graded on stuff… I would!
I think volunteering at IMALIVE has taught me how to not only help others in crisis, but use those same skills to help others around me, including myself. I wouldn’t trade volunteering for IMALIVE for any other hotline crisis as I love the supervisors here and the people here.
You get a sense of belonging and the support you need that helps you feel appreciated here. I’d say, if you’re thinking of making a difference in other people’s lives, I would definitely recommend volunteering at IMALIVE. The satisfaction and the feeling of making a difference is worth it.

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