Chinese Emotional Support Hotline Volunteer – Super Stars of the Month November

After spending 5 years in the US with her husband, Qingzi came to Canada on January 1 this year to accompany her husband to transfer to Canada for his PhD. When she was in China, she worked in Beijing, where she worked as an opera director at the Opera Research Institute in Peking University. In addition to taking care of her husband’s life, she is currently teaching piano, voice and music popularization.

During her five years in the United States, Qingzi experienced a very desperate period of depression, especially in the last two years. As she did not meet any program interested her, she did not continue her education. Her accompanying visa also did not allow her to work legally, so she almost did not leave home and have few connections with society. After she came to Canada, she felt that she should change this situation actively, so when she saw the news of the hotline recruiting volunteers in March, she decided to join. She felt that volunteering would not only allow her to participate in social activities, but also bring her a little comfort to who need help. All of these would make her feel that she was worthwhile.

Qingzi has two fruits from her volunteer experience. On one hand, when answering emotional support calls, she actively listens to their feelings, deeply understands their plight, and at the end of the call, she perceives that their mood has improved, which makes her feel very gratified. Even if the caller just got a moment of relief during the call, it is still very important and worthwhile, as if  “I” in other time and space was redeemed. On the other hand, meeting many lovely volunteers, connecting with them deep or shallow. She also get a lot of information from them, which is very important and helpful for her who has been here for less than a year. Qingzi has also meet an old friend from her hometown. This friend has the same interests, the same views, and is very chatty among the volunteers. They often meet online and reading, watching movies or chatting together. Although she hasn’t had the chance to meet her yet, it still means a lot to her because she needs spiritual communication with her friends very much. As it’s hard to find friends with such a high level of spiritual compatibility after arriving in North America, so she is very grateful to the hotline for allowing her to meet her old friend in another country.

When she was asked how to deal with difficulties in life, Qingzi said, “When I have  difficulties in life, I first use the ‘positive thinking training method’ to realize, accept and adjust my emotions at the time, and then see what I can do to solve the problem at the moment. If I need a long time to solve the problem, then I will make a plan to change. At the same I will give myself more patience and encouragement. It doesn’t matter if you can’t do it right, you can try it again.”

With the development of social economy and civilization, mental health and spiritual health are being paid more attention. From Qingzi’s own point of view, after the continuous contact with psychological knowledge in the past few years, many cognitive changes have occurred, followed by the control of emotions. With good emotions and according to the available information, she can make judgments and decisions more calm and objective. Then the ability of execution is also released, which can affect behavior and efficiency. We cannot change what has happened, but we can react more effectively and self-soothingly to what has happened based on psychological and spiritual knowledge.

Michelle is a full-time mother who stays at home with her children. She believes that any people can have emotional problems, no matter how old they are. They are even diagnosed with mood disorders because they are so severe, and she did have friends who have committed suicide due to depression.

She saw that the ECSSEN was promoting a hotline for solving problems in the WeChat. She thought that during the pandemic, there must be more people who have emotional and mental problems. They need emotional support and a method to relieve their feelings. Michelle was happy that she passed the interview and participated in a series of training for the hotline volunteers, and was able to work as a hotline volunteer to answer the hotline and help the callers.

Michelle met some new friends, especially her supervisors, because of participating in the hotline volunteer activities. She worked with her supervisor, who was fully supportive. The supervisor was always there for her to solve any problems during her shift, and also shared some life experiences with her. During the hotline volunteer training courses, she learned communication skills and shared the experiences with other hotline volunteers in their shifts. It gives her a chance to grow and add value to yourself and affirm yourself.

If we are not satisfied with our life or are under too much stress, find the most comfortable way to reduce stress, such as talking with our family or friends, shopping, exercising, listening to songs, meditating, walking in a small area or going for a walk away from the hustle and bustle, trying to put down our cell phone, let our head empty, let our mind calm down, take our time to appreciate the scenery around us, feel the beauty of nature with our heart, and enjoy the phytoncide from the forest. Enjoy the fandango from the forest, our mood will naturally be beautiful, and then we will find that actually reducing stress is not as complicated as we think.

Mental health is part of the overall health of an individual and is closely related to our physical health and behavior. People who are healthy mentally can adapt to general environmental changes and cope with adversity; they can also maintain a balance of different elements in their livings; they can enjoy life, build and maintain good relationships with other people; they also know how to affirm their own abilities, play their strengths effectively in work and feel fulfilled and satisfied. No good mental health, no healthy life.

Maintaining mental health can start from the details of life, give ourselves rest when appropriate, have  enough sleep, exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet. We also need to have some interests, and maintain good interpersonal relationships, have a normal social life, and enjoy time with family and friends, then you will be able to live happily and be a useful, happy and contented person.

The hotline has a systematic organization, professional and talented people, and selfless volunteers to support callers in need of emotional services, so that callers can talk to volunteers over the phone and work together to find solutions to their problems, and everyone needs to understand that they are not alone in facing difficulties.

The Emotional Support Hotline is supported by a group of volunteers like Qingzi and Michelle who have stories to tell. If you want to contribute to the Chinese community like them, you are welcome to join us.