By Grace Basler, Communications Intern
Like most college students, Becca started this school year amid the uncertainty of a hybrid in-person and virtual learning environment. Going into her senior year, Becca is studying Neuroscience and Russian. On a typical day, you might also find her playing the piano, drawing and creating art, playing video games, or spending time with her recently adopted beagle-hound mix. But that’s not all, one night every week you can also find Becca volunteering with CommUnity as a Crisis Intervention volunteer.
Becca began as a Crisis Intervention counselor in December of 2018 while looking for opportunities to volunteer in Iowa City. After struggling with her own mental health, and having known people that have had thoughts of suicide, Becca felt called to help others. She enjoys the opportunity to be there for people who are experiencing a mental health crisis.
“[Crisis Intervention] is something I wanted to help people with because I know what it’s like to not have somebody when going through hard times,” Becca said.
Volunteering in Crisis Intervention has made Becca more aware of the different crises that people around her could be going through, and how to talk to people in those situations. Becca said that she has become more empathetic due to her Crisis Intervention training and volunteer involvement.
Becca’s experience answering online chat messages has sparked a passion in her to advocate for making mental health resources available for everyone. Becca said that it can be frustrating to hear from clients who cannot afford resources such as meeting with therapists.
“I want resources to be more available so that’s definitely something that has grown since I started [volunteering],” Becca said.
Not only is Becca passionate about mental health, but she is passionate about healthcare overall, including healthcare policy and accessibility. She also has an enthusiasm for advocacy and science education.
For those who are struggling with their mental health, Becca wants everyone to know that she understands it can be hard or scary to reach out for help. If you are even considering it, she encourages you to reach out via crisis call, chat, or text.
“At least trying to get help is better than not getting any help. Just the fact that you are even thinking about getting help means that you want to get better; you’re just scared which is totally normal,” Becca said.
If you are considering volunteering in Crisis Intervention, Becca said it’s probably a good thing if it feels scary because it’s a sign that you care enough to want to do a good job. It’s natural to have some doubts about whether you are saying the right thing, but there is a lot of practice and plenty of support from excellent supervisors that help you ensure you’re prepared before taking your first solo call. Becca said that in the end, receiving feedback that you’ve helped a caller makes it all worth it.
Here at CommUnity, we are very thankful for volunteers like Becca that help make our Crisis Intervention services possible. If you are interested in learning more about volunteering in Crisis Intervention, you can visit builtbycommunity.org/volunteer/.
If you or somebody you know needs to talk, we’re here to listen.
Call or text 1-855-325-4296
Chat at IowaCrisisChat.org