Students train to be ‘Concerned Listeners’

Josh Mahannah, ’Doah Staff Writer
February 6, 2013

Spiritual Life Coordinator Amanda Shenk is diligently working to bring Concern Hotline training to campus. The Concern Hotline serves as a 24/7 help hotline for those in need of assistance, or just someone to talk to, for the counties of Winchester, Frederick, Clarke, Shenandoah, Warren and Page. It also functions as a suicide intervention hotline.

The hotline is completely staffed by volunteers in the community. Shenk is currently looking for people to respond to the incoming calls. Because the line is 24/7, there is a shortage of volunteers in the area. “One guy had logged in over 2,000 hours in the past year. It’s time to let people take a break,” said Shenk.

Now, not all of the calls are from those considering suicide — most people are simply reaching out for help. “Many people call in looking for help to find food when they don’t have any or are trying to decide whether to pay a bill or buy food,” said Shenk. “Our job would be to give them ideas on how to try and get what they need.”

Volunteers function as “concerned listeners” for four hours once a month. A six-week, intensive and interactive training course is required to volunteer. “I just went for the training and loved it! I thought it may be a great way for students to give back, without having to leave campus and figure out how to get themselves into the community,” stated Shenk.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, contact Shenk at spirituallife@su.edu, and check out the Concern Hotline website at http://www.concernhotline.com. Also, if you are ever in need of someone to talk to, do not hesitate to call the Concern Hotline at 540-667-0145.

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