Personal growth, compassion and building a toolkit for mental health are just some of the benefits of becoming part of the Lifeline Mid Coast team as a crisis support volunteer.
The organisation is currently seeking ordinary people to become extraordinary volunteers.
Suicide Prevention Manager, Kelly Saidey is inviting any interested members of the public to attend a meeting in early February.
"We would like people interested in volunteering to come and speak to a trained crisis supporter and see if it's for them," she said.
"It's a place to share information and see what Lifeline Mid Coast offers and how we build resilient communities - come along and see how we do that.
"The type of volunteer that usually comes forward are people that have empathy, are caring and have that time to offer to people in need.
"Quite often they volunteer because they have had a loss, a crisis or experienced previous trauma.
"Students involved in social work or psychology courses also benefit from joining us for the practical experiences they receive.
"Others simply want to give back and provide something to their community," she said.
Ms Saidey said the support volunteers are also people wanting to be connected to a group or who have just moved to the area and wanting to belong to their community.
She said volunteers can make connections with fellow supporters because "you are joining the Lifeline family".
"There is a lot of personal growth and an added bonus of experiencing some real compassion," she added.
Crisis supporters range from 20 to 80 years of age and are making a huge impact on people's lives.
Lifeline Mid Coast provides care and support to callers in their time of personal crisis.
There is a lot of personal growth and an added bonus of experiencing some real compassion.Kelly Saidey
Our volunteers are people with a strong sense of self awareness and the ability to express empathy and respect for others without judgement, Ms Saidey said.
Training to become a volunteer Telephone Crisis Supporter is both challenging and rewarding and carries with it many benefits which include obtaining a nationally recognised qualification and providing an essential service for the community.
Volunteers are well prepared to go on the phones and well supported during and following each shift.
Lifeline Mid Coast answered 18,000 calls last year, thanks to 85 telephone crisis supporters in our local and surrounding area, who have had the opportunity to access world's best training practice in suicide intervention.
They have access to diverse and frequent professional development opportunities as part of the role.
Volunteer Crisis Supporters report that their involvement with Lifeline Mid Coast has opened new opportunities in their lives with future career development and prospects.
Training is for three hours per week over 10 weeks for face to face training couple with several online modules.
Volunteers generally give around four hours per week, once training has been completed.
Ms Saidey said there is plenty of support during and post training.
Lifeline Mid Coast are hosting an information session on February 6 at The Westport Club, at 6 pm. Training will commence in late February.
Interested people should contact Liz 6581 2800 or email email@example.com
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