Why Volunteer for PeerTalk? Aaron's story...
PeerTalk facilitator, Preston group
Why did you choose to volunteer for PeerTalk?
My mother passed away from lung cancer when I was 18 years old. I was referred to a clinical psychologist soon after, which helped me acknowledge the importance of having an outlet to express your thoughts and emotions. I understand how difficult it can be to bottle up your feelings. I started volunteering for PeerTalk as I want to be there for people in their time of need, the same way my clinical psychologist was there for me. Volunteering for PeerTalk has shaped me to be a non-judgemental listener for those who need to be heard.
What do you get out of it?
As an aspiring Clinical Psychologist, being a facilitator has helped me develop essential skills such as: active listening, empathy, communication, and patience.
How are you supported in your role?
When facilitating I am supported by a co-facilitator. Furthermore, myself and the other facilitators in our area attend regular meetings where we share and reflect on our experiences as facilitators and how we can improve in our role.
Has anything particularly struck you whilst volunteering with PeerTalk?
Volunteering has highlighted the fact that regardless of gender, race, sexuality etc. anyone can struggle with their mental health, therefore it is important to remain tolerant and non-judgemental of others.
What would you say to someone thinking about volunteering for PeerTalk?
Do it! It is an opportunity for you to make such a huge impact on other people’s lives and you will learn so much about yourself in the process.