If you can spare just four hours a fortnight, live in Lancashire with an FY or PR postcode and want to make a real difference to people’s lives, the Wellbeing and Mental Health Helpline needs your help!
Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Wellbeing and Mental Health Helpline is open 365 days a year offering an out of hours listening service for people who are feeling low or worried about their mental health or that of someone they care about. The helpline offers confidential support and information to people who feel distressed and want someone to talk to or even just listen to them. They can also signpost callers to local services who will be able to provide support in a range of issues such as sleep problems, domestic violence and phobias as well as mental health services.
Tom* has been a Helpline Operator since 2012, he said:
“I have personal experience of mental health issues, having lived with depression for a number of years. I decided to volunteer with the helpline as I know first-hand how important resources such as this are for people who are in similar situations and don’t feel able to talk to people around them. My personal journey and experiences mean I can relate to some of the callers and I know how much of a difference just having someone listen to you can make in a time of personal distress.
“I took part in a great training programme which helps you understand how to deal with calls and the different avenues for signposting callers to services that can provide additional support. I have also met some fantastic people volunteering at the helpline and truly feel that whatever I have given to the helpline I have had back in return three fold.
“We receive some fantastic feedback from callers and it really makes the role worthwhile, knowing that no matter how small it may seem, being able to contribute towards helping someone in a time of distress is extremely rewarding. Through my journey over the years, I have now reached a point where I try to live in the now and I feel that being part of the team at the helpline means I can help people who have been in similar situations to me and hopefully help them towards a brighter future.”
Volunteers undertake regular training updates and will receive a monthly newsletter to keep them up to date with helpline policies and events. Application packs and further information is available online at www.lancs-mentalhealthhelpline.nhs.uk or please call 01253 447900.
If you need someone to talk to, you can contact the Wellbeing and Mental Health Helpline on Freephone 0300 222 5931 and calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. The helpline is open Monday to Friday 7pm to 11pm and Saturday and Sunday 12 midday to 12 midnight.
*All volunteers are anonymous and name has been changed to protect identity.