All of our Talkline advocates complete and pass a rigorous 40-hour training in order to be peer-counselors on the Talkline, but the learning doesn’t stop there! Continued conversations and support are vital and important for our advocates, as they provide open-hearted space and judgment-free support for callers in all of their complex experiences with pregnancy, parenting, abortion and adoption.
One way our advocates get this support is through our Talkline mentors, a group of seven Talkline advocates who provide experienced feedback, community connection, and keep the lines of communication flowing within their advocate cohorts. Many of our mentors are also involved in other important reproductive justice and social justice work outside of the Talkline, so we doubly appreciate them for offering up this extra support to their peers. They’re available to help new advocates navigate tough calls and complicated questions on the Talkline that can be overwhelming or intense if someone is just starting on the line, and they facilitate quarterly small-group meetings to provide call processing, co-support, and community connection.
Read our Talkline mentors’ thoughts about their work on the line and with their fellow advocates, and what being on the Talkline in this moment means to them:
“My favorite part of being a Talkline advocate mentor is getting to see the growth of the advocates throughout their time on the Talkline. It is always powerful to play a role in the human experience when on the Talkline, and in hard times such as these, it becomes more apparent than ever just how important the support and understanding the Talkline provides can be.”
“Being a Talkline advocate is actually self-care for myself. It allows me to step away from my reality and connect at a very human level with strangers. Plus, my fellow advocates have created a strong support network which I’m grateful to be part of.”
“Being part of the Talkline means witnessing an amazing group of advocates bring brilliance, care, and empathy to each phone call. Every advocate has an individual passion that drives them to volunteer. But we all are fundamentally dedicated to reproductive justice and supporting individuals/families who continue to need the Talkline during such an impossibly stressful time.”
“Being a Talkline mentor has allowed me to really show up for my fellow advocates and for our fearless leaders at All-Options. This is one way I can take some burden off the shoulders of others and do my part to propel this movement. And I get to continue to be in community with such amazing and inspiring people, learning from the invaluable experiences of those who work on our Talkline.”
“My experience as a Talkline mentor has been incredibly grounding – I’ve learned so much about myself and others through this work. Similar to how I show up for our callers as an advocate, being a mentor means meeting people where they are with respect, dignity, and compassion. I don’t take this privilege for granted and hope to continue to learn and grow as a mentor, peer, and individual through mentorship and collaboration with my fellow Talkline advocates.”