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5 lessons I’ve learned volunteering on a teen crisis line

Author: Tigger McFree

I’ve been volunteering with ConnecTeen for almost two years, and what keeps me dedicated to volunteering is that there are always ways to grow and things to learn.

Here are 5 things I’ve learned directly from ConnecTeen that I try to apply to my own life:

5. You are not alone

Many callers believe that their problems are ‘abnormal’ or that no one can understand. Even though I haven’t been through the same situation as any caller, I find I can relate to some aspects of how each caller is feeling. Haven’t all teens felt anxious, worried, or stressed at some point?

4. It is healthy to reach out for help

I’m not always good at sharing my own problems, but at ConnecTeen I’ve seen just how helpful it can be to talk through things. I am reminded and encouraged to talk to a parent, friend, or co-worker (or ConnecTeen!) about what I am going through. It doesn’t have to be a huge problem to justify telling someone about it!

3. Find the silver lining

Sometimes volunteer shifts can be really, really slow. Instead of being bummed out that I didn’t get any calls, I try to rejoice that I got lots of homework or reading done! (Another thing I’ve learned – it is easier to study without all the distractions of being at home!)

2. It can be good to be assertive

I’m a quiet person, so being assertive isn’t quite as natural for me. Having to deal with inappropriate and prank calls has helped me learn to be more assertive and set limits with people- important life skills!

1. Calgary is awesome

It is encouraging to meet so many wonderful Calgarians at ConnecTeen/Distress Centre who are passionate about doing good and helping people! I’ve also discovered that there are tons of great resources and services available in Calgary if you ever need something.

Interested in volunteering at ConnecTeen? Learn more!

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