Volunteer’s of the Month – March – Rebecca & Leanne

Rebecca from New York, USA

Rebecca came to IMAlive in June of 2020 in the midst of a global health crisis; joining us right at a time where many people faced unprecedented mental health struggle and new isolation relating to extended societal and service lockdowns due to the pandemic, she hoped to spread the message that “people are not as alone as we think we are.” At IMAlive – the home of HEART – the structure of Rebecca’s crisis intervention training was built upon a firm foundation of prior skills already honed by her “past history with family members and friends with mental health needs” as well as in her education and experience in attaining an MSW. All of this combined to bring to the team someone who supervisors describe as a powerhouse volunteer; one with a skillset founded on and enhanced by an endless natural empathy. Dedicated to assisting each person she chats with to the safest and best possible outcome available to them, she extends a profound sense of calm from the outset of every chat. She demonstrates infinite patience both with the person in crisis, and herself in adapting her style and altering expectations based on how best to suit each person’s specific needs. Supervisors universally agree her care, focus, flexibility, and strength of skill make her an asset and a pleasure to have on the team; for these reasons and more, we are happy to call her our Volunteer of the Month!

Leanne from Canada

Bringing a “vast amount of background knowledge around mental health” and experience “being with people through difficult times,” as well as a desire to “use these skills to help people” and “give back to the mental health community,” Leanne has been with the IMAlive team since September of 2019. On every shift she takes – every chat – she endeavors to support others, truly hear them, and broaden the resource limitations some who want help come to us facing. Supervisors praise Leanne’s boundless heart for helping and her passion for crisis intervention; no matter what challenges the person in crisis struggles with, or how the chat progresses, it doesn’t discourage her dedication to the shifts she takes on or the pursuit of safe planning with those people she speaks to. A genuine curiosity about the chatters she connects with aids in seeking the right solution for them and their unique situation. Supervisors say she’s a stand out on shift; whether she’s a regular for that shift time, or a volunteer they team up with only every so often, it’s evident to all she puts her caring heart into every word and believes in empowering the person in crisis for the better. Leanne backs up her skills with a willingness to accept feedback to further grow and develop those skills. She keeps engaged with the team throughout shift, maintaining communication, asking questions when she is unsure, using every resource available to her to help, and implementing any recommendations right away. Leanne, you set the bar high time and again for volunteerism, and for that we congratulate you as Volunteer of the Month!

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