Lifeline Adelaide – breaking down the stigma

there is a particular caller I had 17
years ago and she is the person that I keep doing this for Most people ring
because they are in a crisis and some actually are in a situation where it’s a
matter of life and death I feel very proud to say that I’m a
volunteer for Lifeline. On a personal level I find that it’s a real an honor I think to be
the person that people come to talk to about the problems that they talk to
you about and it makes you feel in that moment that you’re doing the right thing
that you’re in the right place and it makes you want to take that next call
and come back to do another shift it can be confronting yeah it can
be in your face but before we did join Lifeline we went through considerable
amount of training which was offered by Lifeline itself I’ve learnt a lot from callers and I think callers have probably benefited from talking to me it’s a two-way street I tend to learn as much from them as I hope they they can learn
from us at the other end of the phone so the value that its brought to my life
being on Lifeline is just being more aware of people around me It’s turned me into probably the least judgmental person you’ll ever likely to find in the
world Generally we are there not to teach or to give our opinion but we’re
there to listen so quite common topics that come up on
Lifeline for me I find is people that they feel they don’t fit into any
sort of community areas loneliness I suppose is something that I really didn’t understand how prolific it was until I started in here a lot of adolescents phone in as well who are going through a hard time at school such
things as bullying I think mental health is there’s a
huge stigma around mental health in that if you go to work and say to your work
colleagues you’ve got cancer everybody rallies around you and buys
you inflated balloons and boxes of chocolates and cooks you meals but if
you go there and say you had a nervous breakdown this morning anybody want to
walk away from me because they’re scared they’re going to catch it and people
just need to know that they can ring somebody and they can talk about their
mental health and know they’re not going to be judged we need to have an open
heart open mind open soul approach so that will so that we can be of
assistance so that we can be present for those individuals who are going through
particularly very very demanding times in their life so the more that it is
brought out into public the more society may accept it

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