Kiki Martire, head of training and coaching for new HSE-funded text-based mental health service
I carve out time to do some stretching, make a strong cup of coffee, and sit outside to collect my thoughts. Then, even though I work from home, I get ready for the work day as if I was going into an office.
I’m at my desk and ready for work. As a volunteer-powered organisation, my role is to support our crisis volunteers.
This includes screening their applications, facilitating the 30 hours of training for each volunteer, getting them set up within our system and garda vetted, scheduling weekly volunteer shifts, and coaching them and providing ongoing support throughout their time volunteering.
50808 is a free 24/7 text service, providing everything from a calming chat to immediate support for people going through a mental health or emotional crisis, big or small. From breakups or bullying, to anxiety, depression and suicidal feelings, our crisis volunteers are available 24/7 for anonymous text conversations.
We’re a small, close-knit team, using video calls to check in with one another, especially while working remotely. I usually have calls from 11am-2pm, where I catch up with colleagues on how our trainee groups are progressing, share how many new volunteers we have week-on-week, organise weekly volunteer schedules, and discuss new ways to support and communicate with our volunteer base.
Break for food and a walk.
The afternoon tends to be my protected time for larger projects, onboarding new volunteers, progress reporting and weekly communications. I respond to messages, check KPIs, provide tech support, grade some training assignments, and check the 50808 platform to see what support our volunteers need.
I save my favourite part of the day for last: reading and sending out texter feedback to our volunteers. This is where a texter is able to anonymously share what impact the conversation with a crisis volunteer has had on them.
In the evening I go on a longer walk and catch up with loved ones on the phone.
‘50808’ is a new free 24/7 text-based mental health service funded by the HSE, first of its kind for Ireland. If you would like to apply to volunteer with 50808 please visit https://text50808.ie/volunteer
If you need support text TALK to 50808 to chat anonymously with a trained crisis volunteer.