The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) is going into its 24th year of running an 18-line call centre for those dealing with mental health issues, including the country’s only suicide helpline.
Sadag is in need of additional volunteer telephonic counsellors. The need for more people is due to an increase in calls to the call centre, Fourways Review reports.
Telephonic counsellors will be trained over a weekend at the beginning of March, and prior to that, they have the opportunity to sit in Sadag’s call centre and train under senior counsellors. Shifts are divided from 8am to 12pm, 12pm to 4pm or 4pm to 8pm, seven days a week.
The South African Depression and Anxiety Group has over 100 volunteer counsellors who give their time, skills and support to people who need assistance, guidance and referrals in dealing with various mental health issues such as depression, bipolar, substance abuse, anxiety, panic, OCD and suicidal thoughts, all of which counsellors are trained to help with. Counsellors also help callers after traumatic events such as rape, accidents, and violence and may assist them with being admitted to an appropriate hospital for treatment.
Many of the counsellors have suffered from depression or PTSD themselves and now feel stronger and are able to help other people because they can fully understand what they are going through.
“Sadag gives me the opportunity to have a positive impact on other people’s lives, I believe we touch many people through our help and the messages I give, I strive to show empathy and direction on every call,” said B, (a 27-year-old, female).
For more information on volunteering at Sadag or for a volunteer counsellor application form, download the form at www.sadag.org – just click on the link under the VOLUNTEER section to the left-hand side of the web page. Or call 0800 70 80 90 and speak to Lara or Zoleka.
“There are ways to contact us when you feel like you don’t have anywhere else to turn,” said Cassey Chambers, director.