Much may have changed in the world during the collective challenge that was 2021, but one special tradition here within the IMALIVE family remained the same – the one where our volunteers select a standout among their supervisors to honor as the Supervisor of the Year.
As the year wound down, and our volunteers were asked to reflect back on their experiences, one exemplary supervisor rose up to the top of the ranks in the field of nominations – this year our volunteers selected Anna B from Ontario, as the 2021 Supervisor of the Year!
Hot on the heels of IMALIVE ringing in its 10th birthday in 2021 – Anna B. also happens to be celebrating her 10th year anniversary of volunteering with us, having begun her journey as a volunteer back in 2012 and given over 925 hours since in the service of supporting those in crisis. Further expanding her reach of support to include our volunteers and in turn the people in crisis they help, she was offered and accepted a position on the Supervisor Team and settled into the role in September of 2016. August of 2019 saw Anna B. lending her supportive skills and depth of experience as an invaluable member of the Training Team, where she helps Volunteer Responder candidates learn and hone their crisis intervention skills to help even more people. You could say she’s been creating ever-widening ripples for the cause of crisis intervention and suicide prevention ever since she dipped her toe into IMALIVE waters a decade ago!
We could say that, or perhaps our volunteers could say it better in the words accompanying their votes:
- Anna has been super helpful throughout my entire time here at IMAlive. From observer shifts to live shifts, I have received her genuine support in helping me grow as a volunteer. I really am so happy that I am in the mental health field and Anna encourages to me the best that I can be when supporting people in crisis. I couldn’t ask for a better support system.
- She’s always willing to answer questions and she takes the time to make sure I fully understand the feedback.
- All the supervisors I have interacted with have been great though none have been better than Anna B!
- Anna was SO encouraging, friendly and helpful during my shift with her.
- Anna made all my shifts feel so easy, she always made sure I understood what I needed to improve and I always felt like she really cared about my progress.
- While I could have easily picked a few names on this list because there are so many great supervisors (truly!!) I would be remiss if I didn’t shout out Anna B who goes above and beyond every time. Anna’s level of openness, kindness, and attuned feedback truly stands out to me. I felt this deeply on observer shifts and was reminded of it any time I have been on her shifts since. Thank you.
- Anna is really nice and always a pleasure to chat with!
- Anna B, super responsive with feedback and critique. Very down to earth to talk with.
- Thoughtful supportive feedback.
- Anna has been incredibly supportive, available, and encouraging!
- Anna B is an excellent supervisor! She is always great to rely on in a challenging chat.
- Anna is always so kind and helpful when it comes to tricky PICs and is always there to offer immediate help and feedback when it’s needed most. Not to mention she’s super supportive of every volunteer that she interacts with, making sure they feel just as comfortable and safe as we try to make our PICs feel.
- Anna is friendly and very supportive. You can really rely on her to give support while trying to navigate a conversation with a person who is in crisis. Anna is always available to answer any questions that you may have, and never makes you feel like you’ve failed. Instead she gives constructive feedback and reflections to ensure improvement for next time. To put it simply, she is kind and generous, and is highly deserving of this award.
When they learned of the volunteers’ choice to laud Anna B. as Supervisor of the Year, Leadership chimed in with their own sentiments and praise:
- Anna possesses a natural ability to connect with each volunteer so they feel welcome, comfortable, ready to learn and grow their reflective skills during practice and go on to become the caring source of support for the next person reaching out for help. During this past year of worldwide uncertainty, fear, and deep discouragement, during the countless virtual interactions, Anna lifted up the spirits with her easy-going and friendly approach and made the virtual shift time the highlight of the week for so many. It’s truly inspiring to be helping others side by side with someone like Anna who really believes in the power of being there for someone unconditionally.
Thank you Anna for all you do and all you will continue to do for the cause of suicide prevention and crisis intervention both inside and outside of IMALIVE. You possess an amazing and generous heart, a steady and gently streaming well of empathy that embraces our volunteers and every new challenge you and they face, and we are so happy to honor you as the 2021 Supervisor of the Year!
As we slide on into 2022 and the unknowns that lay ahead, we want to thank, too, EACH and EVERY one of the IMALIVE Supervisors who shift upon shift, day in and day out, year after year, share their time and skill with our volunteers, those in crisis who come to chat, and each other. Without you all we would not have the compounding effect of care that coming together to prevent suicide and save lives one chat at a time creates. Thank you ALL!