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Certainly something to SHOUT about!
November 12th saw the annual event for everyone connected with Shout 85258 the 24/7 crisis text line. A celebration of their achievements since being founded in 2016 to where we are today and future plans.
The only digital crisis text line 24/7 for any crisis, for any age, I’ve been a Shout Crisis Volunteer since seeing Prince William launch Shout in May 2019.
The 20 hours of training is intense. The role of a Crisis Volunteer is to listen, empathise and help move someone from a hot zone to a cool calm where they can manage their feelings and devise their own support plan. Being able to take control when initially feeling completely lost and overwhelmed is a major shift.
The feedback from texters shows us immediately that we’ve made a difference. Looking back over the stages of continued learning I’ve undertaken with Shout – I’ve learned so much.
Once ‘trained’ you are classed as a baby chick for 10 conversations. There is always a Crisis Supervisor on shift to help at anytime – not just with an Active Rescue. For baby chicks, supervisors monitor their conversations to make sure they aren’t getting overwhelmed. The Random Chat facility enables us more ‘seasoned’ Crisis Volunteers to encourage and support ‘baby chicks’ as well. It really is a kind of family.
Yesterday at the Troudabour Theatre in White City we learned the real story behind the ‘smooth’ set-up!
Dr Fiona Pienaar explained the delicate balancing act to ensure there were enough trained volunteers and supervisors before promoting the text line and getting people in pain with no one to speak to. All was going well until someone retweeted their messages to their 2m+ followers!
In just three short years Shout has trained 1,500 crisis volunteers and taken over 145,000 conversations – approximately 600=calls per day.
It was so interesting hearing from Nancy Lublin founder of Crisis Text Line US and Trustee of Shout at the event. She still goes on the platform. Recounting one of her first calls from a young girl held hostage as part of a sex trafficking gang. They smashed one of the biggest criminal gangs in this area.
The digital platform for crisis text line UK and international was devised by Nancy. One of the best ways I know technology does good!
The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge are huge supporters of Shout which received a £3m grant from The Royal Foundation to set-up in the UK. The above link gives more details of their involvement. Their appearance at Shout’s annual event yesterday made the day.
A fabulous day, learned a lot and made new connections. Never under estimate the value of ‘events’.