Calling crisis lines helped me through a few difficult times, and I want to return that favor.
I was twelve or thirteen when I first called a crisis line in middle school. I found it very helpful when I was younger, and even through my college days. I struggled a lot with anxiety, depression, and ongoing suicidal impulses.
I struggled to connect with my family, friends, and loved ones at that time. I didn’t trust them and didn’t believe they wanted to help me. With the crisis lines, I knew I could talk to someone who was more impartial or had a neutral position and that they could be a lot more helpful to me.
I started volunteering at Lines for Life in 2013 and working here professionally in 2019. It’s been beneficial that I’m a Spanish speaker with a Latino background. I’ve talked with callers who could speak English but were a lot more comfortable speaking in Spanish. I also identify as a gay man and have the experience growing up as an LGBTQ person.
The experiences I have endured as an LGBTQ person and as a Latino/Hispanic person have helped me relate and empathize better with callers who’ve also experienced prejudice and discrimination.
Suicidal ideations are a lot more common than people think they are. It’s part of being human at times – we get to a point where our suffering or our pain gets too intense and overwhelming that suicide presents itself as an option. But when people call the crisis line, underneath that impulse to die is just a desire to end that pain or suffering – not necessarily their life. When talking to someone, I want to create a space for the caller to feel that pain and help them get through that difficult moment.
David, LFL Call Counselor