PS-WA has some phenomenal volunteers and one on them has just hit their two year anniversary volunteering on the Warm Line! To celebrate, we have included a highlight on Kim! To demonstrate just how lucky we are to have her with PS-WA for the last two years.
I had a chance to chat with volunteer, Kim, to get a better understanding of what her time on the Warm Line has been like.
First off, let’s find out how Kim was first introduced to the Warm Line.
Kim: We had a pregnancy loss at 20 weeks right before I got pregnant with my now-5 year old. Needless to say, that was a difficult experience which set me up for an anxiety-filled pregnancy and postpartum time. I was overjoyed to have my rainbow baby, but I was full of sleep deprivation-exacerbated anxiety, especially because he was having some weight-gaining issues at the beginning.
I saw a flyer about PS-WA’s Warm Line in a mom and baby group I was attending. It took me awhile to muster up the courage to call, but I finally did and after that initial life-changing conversation I had with a volunteer, the seed was planted that maybe I could volunteer on the Warm Line someday.
What have you gained working on the Warm Line?
I have gained confidence that resources are out there and if we all work together, we CAN support families where they’re at and get them going on their healing journeys. It is so rewarding to be able to listen to others’ stories and know I can be a support person, even for a short time.
Do you have any overarching advice for a person experiencing a perinatal mood and/or anxiety disorder?
My advice would be to reach out sooner than later. Don’t wait. Even if you’re not sure it’s even “officially” a perinatal mood and/or anxiety disorder, ALL new moms and families need help and support. Reach out, be honest about what’s going on even if it’s hard to, and then lean on those supports that are there.
What does a call on the Warm Line often look like when speaking with a parent?
I’ve seen a lot of callers lately who are experiencing anxiety and mild depression. It seems the pandemic has exacerbated the anxiety (understandably!) and then the increased isolation has probably exacerbated the depression. People are struggling but at the same time, so many are bravely reaching out, knowing they deserve to feel better than they are.
What role have you seen peer support play?
Usually people want peer support while they’re working on getting started with a therapist. It can be hard to wait between reaching out and getting professional help. That’s where peer support comes in. Assisting getting families the help ASAP, but also being available for support during the waiting period.
Interested in getting involved? PS-WA is currently recruiting peer volunteers to answer calls and texts on the Warm Line. To learn more about volunteering please follow this link.