By: Chelsea Carter
A slow smile spreads across Rob’s face as he recollects his past two years volunteering with the Crisis Centre. He is glad to be a part of such a community and able to give back even though what prompted him to join the Crisis Centre was not a happy situation – someone within his circle had attempted suicide.
About two years ago, after seeing someone close to him struggle with suicide, Rob found himself online searching for organizations that had a focus on mental health with whom he could volunteer with.
“It was hard to find an organization that was a good fit for me,” he says, “until I found the Crisis Centre. I wanted to be able to educate others, as well as myself, and lower the stigma surrounding mental health.”
Through his own experience, Rob found a large barrier to getting help was the stigma surrounding mental health that stopped people from opening up to one another. That is why he chose to begin working as a youth educator and safeTalk trainer with the Crisis Centre.
The work is so rewarding, he says, because he is able to see how much people take away from the workshops. And even if he doesn’t get to directly see the benefits he enjoys the thought that he has cast the first stone in a ripple effect.
“safeTalk is all about starting conversations and about breaking down the stigma around suicide and mental health. If one person takes that away and is able to start an open conversation with someone else, and so on, I find comfort in believing there is a ripple effect.”
By enabling people to communicate with each other, and more importantly feel safe about opening up, we can help save lives. Humans are naturally social, and developing communities is how we have evolved to help one another stay safe through years of evolution. By becoming part of the Crisis Centre community Rob says it is much easier to have those sometimes tough conversations, the kind that can save a friend.
“I find just by telling people I work with the Crisis Centre can open the door for dialogue.”
If you would like to become a part of our community while giving back to yours, click here to volunteer!