Sandton, South Africa, Oct 2, 2018 -- The need for more volunteers is partly due to the massive publicity over the past few months which has led to an increase in calls.
The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) is looking for more volunteers to help at their busy call centre office based in Sandton.
Sadag is now in its 24th year of running their 18 line call centre for callers dealing with mental health issues, which includes running the country’s only suicide helpline. The call centre answers an average of 600 calls a day and handles hundreds of emails, SMSs as well as Facebook and Twitter posts.
According to call center manager at Sadag, Vanishaa Gordhan, they are in need of more volunteer telephonic counsellors. "The need for more people on our shifts is due to the massive publicity over the past few months which has led to an increase in calls to the call centre on a daily basis.
"Following the recent suicides, Sadag is in desperate need of more trainee counsellors who will be passionate volunteers, willing to dedicate a little time to helping others."
New volunteers will attend a two-day training workshop which will take place on 29 September and 6 October. According to Gordhan, the training includes 12 onsite sessions in the call centre while working with senior counsellors.
There are currently over 140 volunteer counsellors at Sadag 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 attacks and suicidal thoughts, all of which our counsellors are trained to help with.
They even help patients on the phone after a traumatic event, such as rape, accidents and violence which may assist them with being admitted to a hospital for treatment.
Gordhan said, "Many of our counsellors have had depression or PTSD themselves and now feel stronger to help other people because they can better understand what they are going through."
Interested volunteers must be mature, kind and patient, based in Johannesburg and willing to commit to a four-hour shift per week. The different shifts available are 8am to 12pm, 12pm to 4pm or 4pm to 8pm, seven days a week.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2018
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