My life was shattered when my husband completed suicide a few years ago. I needed help. Distress Centres' Survivor Support Program was there for me. Within a few weeks, I had already had several sessions with a support team, one of whom had also lost a loved one to suicide. A few months later, I attended group meetings moderated by the program’s staff. Being able to share with others who were going through the same thing helped me move on with my life.
I’m still friends with a group member who also lost her husband to suicide. It’s good to be able to talk with someone who understands.
I admire those who have the strength to counsel others. I would if I could. Instead, I donate money so that Distress Centres can keep on doing what they do.
Distress Centres has long been a service I like to support, both as a donor and as a phone volunteer. In one of my early jobs, I worked for a gentleman who was one of the founding volunteers at the North Toronto centre. The service resonates with my own sense of vulnerability and piques my interest in being helpful. It provides a crucial link for contact through which both caller and volunteer can benefit. Indeed, most of us could be on either end of the line at different points in our lives.
Over the years, I was able to make small annual donations to the agency, and then made time to also become a telephone volunteer, which I have now done for many years. My experience has been enriched by helping to train other volunteers, working on an associated phone service for medical residents, covering Crisis Link for subway emergencies, and taking EMS referral calls. Truly, there is a life on the line, and we are part of that life.