When she came across Shout’s volunteering opportunity, Rachel was looking for ways to gain experience in a mental health setting. The digital nature of the organisation and the opportunities for development seemed like the perfect fit.
In her own words, Rachel discusses the most rewarding aspects of being a Shout Volunteer and shares how volunteering has boosted her confidence and given her an amazing sense of community.
What made you decide to become a Shout Volunteer?
I was searching ways to gain experience in a mental health setting, and I came across Shout’s volunteering information online. I was really keen to apply - I loved what was on offer to me as a volunteer, such as the training provided, future opportunities for development, the flexibility and the positive impact I would be having on people’s lives.
What do you find most rewarding about being a Shout Volunteer?
Seeing feedback from texters is really rewarding. Lots of praise is given from Shout as an organisation too, such as recognition and certificates as you hit achievements, but nothing is more rewarding than hearing positive feedback from the texters. Whether it’s just a simple ’thank you’ or reading a story of how the service really helped someone, it’s so motivating and makes me feel great.
What are some of the challenges you’ve experienced?
I’ve experienced some challenging conversations with texters, but a Clinical Supervisor was always on hand within minutes to support me in dealing with these. It’s really helped to build my resilience.
How do you find volunteering for a digital-based organisation?
I was a bit apprehensive at first, wondering if I would feel isolated and unsupported.
After my first conversation, I felt an amazing sense of community and support from both my peers and supervisors.
Volunteering for a digital-based organisation offers great flexibility, as I can volunteer whenever and wherever suits me. It’s also great to be part of a service which is using innovative modern technology to allow swift access to mental health support - I think it helps those who might not usually reach out.
Have you been able to use any of the training or skills you’ve developed as a Shout Volunteer in your day-to-day life and/or professional life?
I feel so much more confident having conversations with other people in my day-to-day life about mental health and how to support them.
Volunteering for Shout has also helped me in making decisions about my career - it has given me so many life skills that I know will be a great asset to me in the future.
Would you recommend becoming a Shout Volunteer? Why?
I would 100% recommend being a Shout Volunteer. Shout is a great community to be a part of and you’ll develop so many skills that can be used in all aspects of your life, not just on a shift. I think mental health and supporting people in crisis is more important now than ever, and it’s such a rewarding feeling to support others.