Building Hope’s Volunteer Peer Support Program launched just before Thanksgiving 2020 in response to a year in which people reported record-high levels of isolation, stress, and depression. The Volunteer Peer Support Program features two components:
- Warm Line is a non-crisis line staffed by trained volunteers who are available to talk with community members. This line can be reached by calling Building Hope at (970) 485-6271 and selecting Option 2 to speak to a compassionate volunteer. This is a single touchpoint opportunity where a community member can speak to someone in the moment.
- Caring Connections is a multiple-touchpoint program that pairs interested community members with Peer Volunteers who have shared lived experiences or familial/community roles. The matched Volunteer will then check in with the community member regularly over a period of time to chat about how things are going.
Peer Volunteers are available to talk about anything that may be bothering a community member: isolation, frustrations around Public Health Orders, job or family stress, and mental health.
There is no cost to community members who take advantage of the service. While not a replacement for professional therapy and mental healthcare, Peer Support can be an important first step in feeling better. Peer Volunteers can provide referrals to resources as appropriate.
Peer Support Volunteers complete an extensive training regimen designed by the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center at Colorado University’s Anschutz Medical Campus.
This program was originally envisioned by the Katz Amsterdam Foundation, which also provided start-up funding. Building Hope serves as one of a handful of implementation pilot sites that are evaluating approaches for this Volunteer Peer Support Program until Spring 2021 when the program will hopefully be recommended for other Katz Amsterdam Foundation partners at North American ski resort communities.
The Volunteer Peer Program is always looking for volunteers with training held monthly.
To volunteer, submit a Volunteer Inquiry.
The Volunteer Peer Support Program is not a 24/7 crisis line. Individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts or actions should contact Colorado Crisis Services at 1-844-493-8255 to speak to a mental health professional 24/7/365.