Be “Someone to Talk to” with

Be “Someone to Talk to” with

By: Lauren K
  4885 reads

Sometimes a young person just needs someone to talk to. Sometimes their problems can seem overwhelming. Sometimes they are harming themselves or contemplating suicide. Sometimes they just need someone to listen—someone who will be non-judgmental, who will keep their conversations confidential, someone who can keep calm no matter what they’re told, but who will know when the situation is serious enough to require immediate help from emergency services.

Maybe you remember being that young person who just needed someone to talk to. Maybe you have known a young person who just needed someone to talk to. Maybe you can be that someone who will listen. is an online crisis chat service based in the Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of British Columbia (FYI--this is the Crisis Centre people reach when they dial 1-800-SUICIDE). According to YouthInBC’s website, the chat service is for “youth who need a safe, respectful place to access support and information, or just someone to listen without judgment.” (“youth” generally means people 25 and under, but no one is turned away from the chat service based on age, and you do not need to live in BC to use the chat). Young people accessing the chat service will be talking one-on-one to a highly trained volunteer.

All volunteers who work with must apply to volunteer and complete training through the Crisis Centre. The Crisis Centre is looking for volunteers for their Distress Services (which includes the people manning the phone lines at the Crisis Centre and also those people on the YouthInBC chat service), and for their Community Education initiatives. According to the Crisis Centre, their “Volunteer Youth Educators facilitate Mindfulness-Based Stress Management and Suicide Awareness & Response workshops for youth in grades 8 to 12.”

Volunteers for the Crisis Centre are carefully screened and extensively trained. If you want to provide an ear (by phone or by YouthInBC chat) for a person in distress, or to lead workshops designed to help youth cope, please visit the Volunteer page on the Crisis Centre website to apply.

Lauren Kresowaty finished a BFA in Theatre Performance in 2009. She has since returned to SFU to study creative writing and English literature part-time. When she's not in class, you can usually find her at work in the Faculty of Education.

Posted on December 16, 2012