Volunteers needed for Aware support line

Image courtesy of Aware

Aware, Ireland’s national charity supporting people affected by depression, bipolar disorder and mood-related conditions, has launched a volunteer recruitment campaign for its Support Line.

The Aware Support Line is a national freephone service which operates from 10am to 10pm 365 days a year, located at Aware’s HQ at 9 Upper Leeson Street, Dublin 4.

The Line provides telephone support to people concerned about issues relating to their own mood or that of a friend or family member. It operates against a backdrop of an estimated more than 450,000 people experiencing depression in Ireland at any one time, while there are approximately 45,000 people here diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Depression and bipolar disorder are mental health conditions that affect our thinking, energy, feelings and behaviour. While they can vary from mild to severe, and impact on our relationships, family and work lives, it is possible to find ways to manage the conditions, and to lead healthy and productive lives.

According to Bríd O’Meara, Aware’s Director of Services, volunteers gain as much as they give on the Support Line:

“Our more than 400 volunteers nationwide are a crucial lifeline for people impacted by depression and bipolar disorder. They play a key part in our work, supporting people affected by stress, depression, bipolar disorder and mood-related conditions, and are passionate about nurturing people’s positive mental health.

“On our Support Line, volunteers listen carefully to callers, their questions, concerns and reasons for calling, so as to best understand and respond. They are compassionate and non-judgemental, treating people with dignity and respect, and provide information and signpost people to pathways to recovery such as other services and therapies.

“We know from people who have volunteered for the Support Line that it is hugely rewarding for them. There is a real feelgood factor in giving something back, while also developing their own life skills and talents in the process.”

Volunteers for the Support Line should have good communication skills, including being fluent in written and spoken English, and be comfortable speaking on the phone. They will need to be over 25 years, and available for three hours a week, for a minimum of 18 months. Comprehensive training is provided to volunteers in responding to different scenarios that can arise, and so no prior qualifications or experience is required.

People interested in registering their interest to become an Aware Support Line volunteer can email Emma at recruitment@aware.ie or telephone 01 237 4926. Training for the next volunteer intake commences on Saturday February 22.

Also coming up on St Patrick’s Day Aware will once more be sponsoring the annual Harbour2Harbour Walk which goes from Dun Laoghaire to Howth (and vice versa), taking in the beautiful scenic Dublin Bay along the 26 km. The event starts at 10.30 in each location, but it’s advisable to come early to pick up your T-shirt. Walk, run or cycle at your own pace and have a wonderful day. To register go to https://www.aware.ie/events/harbour2harbour-2020/

If you are worried about depression or bipolar disorder, please call the Aware Support Line on Freephone 1800 80 48 48.