Counsellor's Corner: Why youth counselling is my calling
I’ve been with Kids Help Phone for 11 years. I chose this career because I grew up with a lot of discrimination. I remember even as a young girl wanting to help people who are vulnerable.
I’ve always been drawn to helping youth and I learned pretty early on that my voice resonates with young people. I’m able to connect with them in a way that makes them feel safe and gives them strength. I create a safe space for young people to lean into and let go of whatever is troubling them. I try to shine a bit of light into the dark places in their lives.
I often speak with young people on the phone and they say, “Wow, you really get me! How do you do that?” I say, “That’s what I do. That’s why I’m here. To connect with you and to help you. That’s my role as a counsellor.”
Kids Help Phone is always open, 24 hours a day – and that means our counsellors work around the clock to be there for kids in any moment of crisis or need. Something as simple as a cup of coffee can make an immense difference to our counsellors, helping them re-fuel and representing a cup of warmth just when they need it - after a long night of calls and chats. But it can be hard to come by when everything is closed in the wee hours.
Our counsellor wished it forward for her fellow counsellors through the virtual BMO200 Fountain. We were thrilled that BMO granted this wish for an in house coffee machine to provide free hot drinks for counsellors around the clock. BMO took it one step further and created a special blend of coffee called “Uplifting Blends” just for our counsellors. Then they sealed the coffee packages with uplifting messages from the young people they have helped so they can feel as strong and empowered as they help them feel. Ultimately, freshly brewed “Uplifting Blends” will help our counsellors answer calls and chats from young people 24/7 and ensure we’re always open. Check out the video here.