Buckelew News

On a good day, nothing happens. The life of a hotline volunteer.

posted: Thursday, February 15, 2018

Judith has been volunteering since 2008. Every week she steadfastly fields calls from 415 and 707 area codes; individuals considering suicide or struggling with grief and loss. She also answers calls from friends and family members who are concerned about those they love. In just the last 12 months, she’s received 250 calls; 250 souls whose suffering had become unbearable. Everyday, dedication happens.

Judith’s impact has been both positive and significant for the hotline, especially in the last 12 months. The day after the Tubbs fire in October of 2017, Judith took calls from individuals who had lost literally everything, including hope. How do you know that you’ve done a good job? “Knowing that I came here, showed up and was available to listen, to take calls.”

Listening is everything.

What do others say about Judith’s commitment and service? Her supervisor says, “Judith simply has the quality of unfailing kindness, expressed to her co-workers, new trainees and
in each and every call she receives.”

"Judith chose this expression of volunteerism after reflecting on the death by suicide of a college friend. She completed 40 hours of training that Buckelew Programs provides each hotline volunteer. Judith reflects, “It’s not always obvious when people are struggling, I’ve learned a new way to listen from my work as a volunteer on the hotline.” The benefit is deep; integrated into the full expression of Judith’s life. Volunteering, at its best, is a mutually beneficial experience; the win-win. “My own mental health benefits from my service here.”

Because of her outstanding commitment, Judith was recently nominated for "Volunteer of the Year" through Heart of Marin (see picture below with Buckelew Board Members Mary T. McDevitt and David C. Green). Judith has been a hotline volunteer since November, 2008, taking over 3000 calls since 2012 alone. The North Bay Suicide Prevention Program (NBSPP), a service of Buckelew Programs, funded in part through the Mental Health Services Act, offers locally responsive suicide prevention and crisis hotline services to four North Bay communities. Call 24/7 toll free 1-855-587-6373 to be connected to a trained crisis counselor. 

On a good day, nothing happens. The life of a hotline volunteer.