In This Section

Meet our Volunteer: Mitch

I've been a volunteer at Distress Centre Calgary for almost 18 months. I decided to become a Crisis Line Volunteer to gain valuable experience, skills and knowledge in dealing with individuals who are involved in crisis situations including suicide. These essential skills will be beneficial to me as I pursue my long-term career goals.

I also feel an obligation to make a difference for the countless individuals suffering from mental health issues, addictions, grief, or any other distressing situation. Life can be tough, and the Distress Centre is a lifeline for so many people during these times of adversity.

The most enjoyable part about volunteering at Distress Centre for me is the ability to connect with so many different types of people. I really enjoy meeting other volunteers, Distress Centre staff, awesome CCC's (Contact Centre Coordinators), and of course getting to know the callers. There is something so interesting about connecting with other people in this way.

I'd say the biggest challenge I've had since beginning at Distress Centre is having the ability to separate my emotional response from what may be happening in the caller's life. A lot of times, callers are experiencing trauma, tragedies, and extremely painful situations that can make it tough in the moment for me to hold it together emotionally. This is definitely another skill that I'm still learning, and I appreciate when the CCC on duty has given me a few minutes to gain my composure after a difficult call.

Volunteering at Distress Centre has impacted me greatly personally. I feel as though I'm learning how to be a more compassionate, caring, and empathetic human being. The communication skills that I've been learning have helped me to become a better family member, friend, and employee. I'm excited about the opportunities that this priceless volunteer experience will bring in my future. Surprisingly I think I've gained far more from this experience than I have contributed.

My hope is that this service will continue to grow and become adapted to the diversity of needs that callers, chatters, and clients require in order to live their lives in the best possible way. 

Want to join him? Apply to be a volunteer.