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Meet our Volunteer: Julia

I have been volunteering on the crisis lines since March 2012; it’s getting close to two years! I decided I wanted to become a crisis line volunteer because, as a psychology student, I wanted to have front-line experience that would help me going into a counseling career. I also was attracted to the fact that I would get to see the difference I was making as a volunteer, and the level of training and investment Distress Centre Calgary puts into its volunteers. 

I enjoy the fact that I get to speak to so many people from many different walks of life. Not only that, I feel like I have made a legitimate difference in callers’ lives—even if it’s just for ten minutes.

I find that the most challenging part of volunteering on the crisis lines, especially at the beginning, is realizing that you can’t fix everyone’s life. In the end, you can only do so much. 

Volunteering on the crisis lines has definitely painted a more realistic picture of Calgary’s social fabric. Being able to speak to so many people on such an intimate level has changed how I perceive strangers, because I realize that they each have their own unique struggles.

Personally, volunteering on the crisis lines has helped me develop my own positive coping mechanisms. It’s hard to give advice without taking that advice myself.

Finally, volunteering at the Distress Centre has reinforced my decision to pursue psychology and counseling as a career. I now realize, because of my positive experience volunteering, that this is definitely something I would like to do with my life.

Want to join her? Apply to be a volunteer.