Over the last few months, I’ve had the privilege to be a part of an online listener community. This is an online emotional support service which allows a safe space for those who are dealing with issues by talking about it with anonymous 'Listeners' online. I applied to be a listener and help those in need and people who struggle. I succeeded in the training of becoming a 'Listener' in which they clearly stated what the job is as the helpers, what we are expected to do and what to do in case of situations of concern. It is clearly stated that we aren't supposed to solve other people's problem, give advice or give an opinion; we are providing people with a safe environment to talk to us and show them empathy and hope in overcoming those problems. I was aware of the responsibility that this position came with; however, I am someone who deeply cares about mental health and I am grateful that I had the position where I was able to make a difference in someone’s life even if it only had little impact. My goal was to help as many people as I possibly could. There were days where I was talking to more than one person over a short time, and there were one or two people who I talked to for days. This service experience definitely increased my self-awareness, knowing other peoples' stories, and also improved my empathy and helping skills that I was able to bring back to my community in the school.
Year 12 student