Combining the three C’s of competence, caring, and compassion to aid those chatters who come to us experiencing a crisis, Yvette became a certified volunteer responder in October 2018. Yvette’s hope as a helper is to feel she has “made a difference” both to “break the stigma surrounding mental health” struggles and to guide people in crisis considering suicide to find an interim plan, one where they embrace short term safe options to “alleviate their suffering” and consider possible sources of support to lessen the thoughts of self-harm/suicide in order to cope long term with their pain. Supervisors speak highly of Yvette’s independence, politeness, and active listening skills, saying she’s a pleasure to have on the live shift crew. Always motivated to help the people she chats with feel heard and empowered, she rarely needs advice to provide chatters seeking support with the best crisis assistance and empathy she can to stabilize their situation. At the same time, Yvette keeps her supervisors updated about how chats are going, and her willingness to grow and accept and implement input shows she is dedicated to ensure no stone is left unturned when it comes to helping others. For her dedication and more, we are happy to honor Yvette as a volunteer of the month for September!
Drawn to IMAlive with an empathetic desire to support a service “that would have been incredibly good for me as a teenager,” Mona joined us to do just that in December 2019. During the application process to become a volunteer, Mona mentioned a personal quality of being “very self-reflective” that enables her to “deal well with difficult situations” and “helps me to monitor my own behavior and adapt.” This ability to self-reflect and cope is one Mona strives to empower those she chats with to develop as a tool for themselves as she gives them space to be heard and see – through the aspect of active listening we call reflection – their situation and struggles, potential reserves of support, and steps to cope they have available in their life. Mona’s supervisors praise a balanced approach to every chat; she excels at helping a chatter feel understood, while also gently leading the chatter to explore their potential resources, roadblocks to things helping, and how they can be safe now to be present for the future. She acknowledges every aspect of their struggle as they arise, while at the same time organizing the various pieces into an approach that makes sense, constantly checking in as she does so to see that the chatter is comfortable with the direction and knows they will go back to exploring a certain issue after expanding on another further. This natural and logical approach aids the chatter to a hopeful perspective of their situation, and one in which they, too, can make sense of what they are feeling and how to move safely forward. Congratulations, Mona – we are so very grateful to have you on the IMAlive team!