Mac Jordan is a self-described altruist.
“My main interest in volunteering is that there is no ulterior motive. For me, it’s about providing value. The act in itself is rewarding enough. Stopping someone from ending their life is a very powerful thing to do.”
The 23 year old Psychology and Fine Arts Honours student has volunteered for Youthline Auckland Central for the last 2 and a half years. He recently joined the facilitator team and mentors every week, providing support and feedback for trainees on the helpline.
It’s been hugely rewarding to be able to strengthen others, provide support so they can grow, and deliver feedback in a way that further facilitates that growth.”
Mac says that growth is vital to meeting demand and providing excellent service.
“Youth suicide rates in New Zealand are absurd, particularly among Maori and Pasifika. Based on personal experience clients do seem to respond really well to us.”
But, he says, having enough volunteers is a constant challenge. Youthline and the volunteer sector in general need more people willing to put their hand up.
“The tricky thing about Mental Health is that it’s naturally uncomfortable. You’re constantly out of your comfort zone. It’s like being a firefighter sitting in your truck waiting for a fire. And it can make you feel anxious.”
And that’s why self care, and good mentoring is vital.
“We need to have enough volunteers, facilitators and mentors to ensure we continue to provide a good service. Volunteering for a Helpline can be intimidating, but the training process is extensive and the Youthline community are incredibly supportive. Youthline is an environment for growth and challenge is opportunity.”
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