Want to volunteer with SHOUT? Here’s everything you need to know!

SHOUT is recruiting! Are you a student looking for valuable experience in a mental health environment? Or perhaps you have some spare time and wish to support others who may be struggling? If you’re thinking of becoming a volunteer with SHOUT crisis text line, here’s everything you need to know (and why you should definitely join us!)

If you’re struggling and looking for someone to talk to, text SHOUT on 85258.

What is SHOUT crisis text line?

SHOUT is a digital platform that connects service users with trained volunteers. As a 24/7, confidential text messaging service, SHOUT provides a listening ear to anyone who needs it. The text line is free from all major UK phone networks.

Find out more at: www.giveusashout.org

Why did I choose to volunteer with SHOUT?

I knew I wanted to do some kind of volunteering where I would be helping people who were struggling with their mental health. At the time, we were living in Buckinghamshire but we knew we would be moving to Warwickshire, we just didn’t know when. The great thing about SHOUT is that you can do it from home. All the training and the volunteering hours happen online so you can do it anywhere as long as you are in a private location with a secure computer/laptop.

What’s the sign up process like?

Initially, there are a few questions to work out if you and SHOUT are a good fit. Things like, are you in a stable head space right now to give support to others? Can you let go after a difficult conversation? If you do proceed to sign up, SHOUT will also check your references.

How does the training work?

Oh. My. Goodness. The training for SHOUT is the most useful thing I have ever done in my life. I genuinely believe that all Psychology students should complete a module at university with the SHOUT training. The training I completed with SHOUT has not only prepared me for volunteering, it has prepared me for life. I feel much more confident knowing how to speak to people who are going through a rough patch. Even better, it has demolished some of those pesky societal stigmas, particularly around discussing suicide.

The training takes 6 weeks and it is self-guided through online lessons and tests. You are paired with a Coach who supports you throughout your training and you will continue to be supported by a coach as you progress on the volunteering platform. Although the training is computer simulated, there’s still a sense of community and you can retake tests you may not have performed well on the first time.

Emphasis on self-care

Self-care is crucial to the SHOUT values. Put your oxygen mask on before helping others, remember? During your training, you are constantly reminded to check in with yourself and this is further supported by your supervisor once you join the volunteering platform. Your Coach is always available for a debrief after a tricky conversation, too. More often than not, they will reach out to you even if you don’t email them first.

Find your purpose

There’s nothing like that feeling of closing a conversation, knowing you helped someone to find their next step and move forward. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t always feel happy or find closure with every conversation. Some texters stop replying, some end the conversation abruptly and some require emergency attention. It can be stressful, but knowing you gave someone the space to talk, regardless of the outcome, is still rewarding.

volunteer with SHOUT

Although your first few conversations feel terrifying, you slowly get into a swing of things. Your messages and talking style becomes more fluid. You learn which conversations get your palms sweating and how to deal with that. Above all, once the feedback starts coming in, you learn how valuable the time that you’re giving is. Some people who text in have no one else to talk to. Sometimes, you are quite literally a lifeline.

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer with SHOUT, you’re in luck! SHOUT is recruiting!

Sign up here!

If you’re struggling and looking for someone to talk to, text SHOUT on 85258.

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