April is Stress Awareness Month and this year the theme is Community. A community is much more than just a group of people.  It’s about having a sense of belonging and connection to others and feel supported and accepted by them. Relationships are one of the most important aspects of our lives.  A lack of community support can result in feelings of social isolation and loneliness.  Feeling lonely has a negative impact on mental health, particularly when these feelings are longstanding, and research suggests that it is associated with an increased risk of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, sleep problems and increased stress. 

For many volunteering on working on a helpline creates a community. The sharing and support of the community helps to counter the effects of listening to someone else’s trauma. Helplines often respond to those who are feeling alone, isolated and perhaps their support system is not supporting them. 

Calls to helplines can often be complex, responding to multiple needs and issues. For those responding there is an impact of listening to someone else’s emotions. Good after care is required to minimise the impact of listening to someone’s very difficult situation. The free selfcare webinar offer small achievable tasks that can be applied easily, and this is then supported by the one-day course on reflection and resilience. 

photo credit to Luis Villasmil