After several friends died by suicide, I began to investigate ways I could get involved to assist those in crisis. I stumbled across IMAlive through my relationship with Random Acts and was lucky enough to be accepted into the training program to be a crisis counselor.
While I had previously studied psychology at university and am an open and friendly individual, taking my first crisis call was a daunting experience. Luckily, our training ensures us that we are prepared. Additionally, having the conversation occur over a separate chat software gives you a moment to reflect, take a breath and be open for people in crisis, applying your training to the situation. Since working at IMAlive I’ve learnt that conversations about suicide are never easy, however, they are incredibly important and it’s extremely rewarding to be a touchstone for people in a difficult situation. It’s also a great team to be involved with, all the volunteers and supervisors understand the challenges of the role and are there to lend support and assist you during those difficult moments.
Outside of IMAlive, I’ve used the skills and have become a better active listener, better friend, and someone who is open to having conversations about emotions and mental health. I love to recharge by ocean swimming to soak up the sun and salt water. I’m lucky enough to live right next to some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches and when I’m not enjoying the beach I’m planning my next visit!
I’m forever grateful for the wonderful team at IMAlive for giving me this training and experience. 🙂