Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
SOSHelp is an English Language telephone crisis line which has been operating in Paris 365 days a year since 1979. We are staffed almost entirely by volunteers who serve as either Listeners or Supporters. Listeners, who go through an extensive training program provided by a psychologist, answer the calls in 4 hour shifts between 3PM and 11PM each day; each is responsible for three "listens" per month. Listeners also meet monthly as a group with a mental health professional to process call experiences and for ongoing training. Supporters are responsible for fund-raising which is focused primarily on three annual book sales (with goodies-to-go), and for publicity which extends widely throughout France. We have recently developed Skype capability so that callers who have Skype can reach us and need not have another phone line.
Our service is one of compassionate listening; it is anonymous, non-judgmental and non-denominational. SOSHelp began its operations through the efforts of two mental health professionals and with the support of the senior pastor of the ACP at the time, all of whom felt the need for this kind of support for the English-speaking community in Paris.
The call center was originally located at the church, but calls are now taken at an undisclosed office location in Paris. SOSHelp has consistently been supported as one of ACP's local missions, and church members are encouraged to volunteer as listeners or Supporters. Recruitment is generally twice a year in the fall and spring. There is more information about all aspects of SOSHelp's work on their website at soshelpline.org.
For more information on SOS Help please click here.