The Abbotsford-based Telecare Crisis and Caring Line is holding a fundraiser throughout May to support its call centre.
Telecare’s call rate increased during the pandemic and in the wake of the flood, yet donations during the first few months of 2022 have been slim, said Bill Strom, executive director.
He said a $312 donation supports Telecare for a full 12-hour day. The first $6,000 received during Take Action for Telecare in May will be doubled by matching donors.
Telecare is also actively recruiting new volunteers to keep up with the growing need for mental health support services. Training is mostly online at one’s own pace, and serving can be done in the safety and comfort of home.
Telecare is a Christian ministry that operates a free call centre to anyone who calls regardless of race, creed, or social standing.
The registered charity provides trained volunteers who listen to how callers are feeling, no matter their opinion. Telecare models empathetic listening by listening to and validating callers’ opinions.
Strom said Telcare is supporting the 71st annual Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Mental Health Week (May 2 to 8) by encouraging the community to empathize with people’s issues, not fix them.
“Some people who call our service express frustration, anger, even hate. But it’s not our job to change or challenge them,” Strom said.
“We try our best to listen empathetically to understand where they are coming from and let them vent. That’s why we support the CMHA’s call to see the world as others do. We would all do well to understand others first even if we may not agree.”
Telecare offers a workshop on active empathetic listening to community groups, especially those in social services and ministry.
Listen Up! focuses on active empathetic listening, loneliness, depression, loss, and family estrangement
“We also offer a revised lunch-hour version for businesses who see listening as key to better customer service and team building,” Strom said.
Visit telecarebc.com for more information or to volunteer or donate. The crisis line can be contacted in Abbotsford and Mission at 604-852-9099 or toll-free throughout B.C. at 1-888-852-9099.