From the Active Minds Speakers Bureau: Five Reasons to Consider Volunteering for a Crisis Hotline

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Frank Warren is the creator of PostSecret and a member of the Active Minds Speakers Bureau. Bring Frank to your campus to speak about mental health. 

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1. It will help you become more compassionate.
“Before you can volunteer, the centers work with you on a couple of things. They encourage you to be as nonjudgmental as possible. They encourage you to allow the caller to share, to talk about anything at all. They help you develop a voice of compassion and empathy.”

2. You’ll meet some of the best people around.
“You’ll never meet more generous, hopeful, giving people than the other volunteers on a suicide hotline.”

hopeline3. You might find that in helping others, you’re also helping yourself.
“I think the work I did as a suicide prevention volunteer, listening to people’s deepest secrets at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 A.M., helped me just as much as it did them. I was suffering from some of the feelings I see on postcards every week. One way out for me was volunteering for a suicide hotline. It was a lifeline for me in many ways.”

4. It teaches you that your weaknesses can be transformed into strengths.
“I got a postcard two days ago that said something to the effect of “Therapists who’ve been broken are the best people to help and heal others.” It’s like Hemingway said – “We are all broken – that’s how the light gets in.” I’d much rather seek help from someone who could identify my struggles and found their way out than someone who couldn’t relate.”

5. Sharing secrets makes both the teller and the listener stronger.
“People share secrets about things like addiction, an eating disorder, self harm. When they finish, we see that experience doesn’t have to be a negative. It can be a positive, a story of healing that you’re able to share for others and let them know they’re not alone.”

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Crisis Text Line is the free, nationwide, 24/7 text line for people in crisis. Volunteer Crisis Counselors are superheroes with laptops instead of capes, and you can apply to volunteer for them here. If you or your friend is in an IMMEDIATE CRISIS call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “BRAVE” to 741-741 to reach Crisis Text Line. Both are available 24/7.

From the Active Minds Speakers Bureau: Be Who You Needed

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Frank Warren is the creator of PostSecret and a member of the Active Minds Speakers Bureau. Bring Frank to your campus to speak about mental health. 

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I posted this image on the PostSecret Facebook page last week and it reached nearly 5,000,000 people.

I don’t know the specific reasons why so many people chose to share this simple message. Maybe as an adult, someone still feels the shards from a broken past. Or maybe some find solace in the idea that no matter how meaningless life can feel sometimes, we can always find purpose in reducing suffering. Perhaps a young person read this and clung on to the hope that the pain they are working through today could be the source of a gift that later in life offers help and healing to others.

I have one of my secrets in all six of the PostSecret books. In the second book, My Secret, this one is mine.

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When I was younger I felt like I was going insane. Continue Reading

The Story of PostSecret: The Show

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Frank Warren is a member of the Active Minds Speakers Bureau and creator of Post Secret, an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard. Learn more about PostSecret: The Show or bring PostSecretU to your campus.

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When I started PostSecret, I never knew how truly special the secrets I pulled from my mailbox would be or where the postcards would take me.

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Joyful secrets, hilarious secrets, romantic, painful, transformative secrets, but what I didn’t see coming were the compassionate responses from strangers. It was exciting for me to curate PostSecret.com and the PostSecret books, but you turned the project into a conversation, you made a community.  I began seeing the compassion and connection that surrounds us all the time but goes unseen.  These were the stories behind the secrets.

Continue Reading

It’s No Secret Why I Joined the Active Minds Speakers Bureau

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Frank Warren, creator of the worldwide phenomenon PostSecret, recently joined the Active Minds Speakers Bureau. Bring Frank to your campus today!

Frank Warren--Secrets can be walls or bridges headshotWhen I started PostSecret, it felt like a creative prank — but asking strangers to share their deepest secrets with me on postcards would illuminate a hidden world we all share and create a community of courage and compassion.

I hate working as a janitor for arrogant rich people so I clean their computer keyboards with the toilet brush.

I know my neighbor is a peeping tom… So I occasionally give him a free show.

everytime I work up the nerve to swallow the pills someone does something to make me want to live and i’ve never said thank you for saving my life. people have no idea how far kindness can go. i’m LIVING proof. Continue Reading