As more people face financial difficulties or experience strain on their mental health during the pandemic, calls to SUCCESS helplines have also risen.
“Many people feel lonely and distressed during the pandemic, and they need someone to talk to to reduce their stress. We’ve experienced increased calls recently,” said Laila Lee, the helpline coordinator with SUCCESS, a Vancouver-based immigrant settlement organization with an office located in Richmond.
Since 2002, trained volunteers from SUCCESS helplines have been dedicated to providing Chinese-speaking immigrants with confidential emotional support and referrals to community resources to solve many life issues.
However, some of the volunteers haven’t been able to commute to Richmond’s office during the health crisis which has left 40 per cent of the volunteer shifts empty, explained Lee.
“We are hoping new volunteers will join our team to help people get through these tough times,” said Lee.
Lee also notes that volunteering can be as beneficial for the volunteer as the person they’re helping. Many of the volunteers have experienced personal and professional growth, including improving their communication skills by helping people from different walks of life, according to Lee.
As well, some volunteers have built connections with other colleagues, she added.
Interested applicants need to fill out an online application at www.bit.do/chinesehelpline and then qualified applicants will attend an interview via Zoom video. Applicants are also required to complete a criminal record check online.
Successful applicants will need to complete a 40-hour comprehensive training program and commit to a four-hour shift per week before taking on the role.
For more information about volunteering for the SUCCESS helpline, email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-270-8611.