'Tender feelings' often shared during calls

In an interview with the Church News, LDS Social Services Help Line volunteers expressed tender feelings about the experiences they regularly have conversing with unwed mothers and others in an attempt to help them. Here is a sampling of their comments that provide some insight into the service they render:

"I am amazed at the amount of stress there is in the world. We get calls from girls who cannot seem to communicate with their parents. They say they haven't had any meaningful communication for years. With all of the stress and heartache that's going on, they have no one to talk to."A lot of them can't even talk [on the telephoneT because they are crying and so distressed. We seem to be the only persons they are able to talk with because we're not threatening to them. That puts quite a responsibility on us. They are looking for advice and understanding. That's what we can give them, besides trying to put them in touch with someone who can give them the professional counseling they need."

"I had a call this morning, that was a thrill to me, from a woman who is 13 weeks pregnant. She had other children and has already paid toward an abortion, but she was uncomfortable with her decision. She called to talk about it.

"I told her about our services, and she said she would consider talking to a counselor from our agency (LDS Social Services). I called the worker in [her areaT. He called her and made an appointment. She was going to have an abortion this coming weekend, and now she's talking adoption. I was really happy about that."

"One of the most surprising things to me is how many boys call us. Many of them who call are almost more concerned than the girl is. I've had several calls from boys who are terribly upset, crying, because they have gotten a girl pregnant and they feel the responsibility. They want to know if they have any rights and what they can do to help the girl."

"The age of callers is surprising. More than half the calls I get are from girls between the ages of 12 and 16."

"We get calls from girls who have had an abortion and are devastated by it. Though they are no longer pregnant, they wonder if there is a support group or help for those who have had abortions.

"When people call and talk about abortion as an alternative, most say they don't really believe in abortion, but they feel they have backed themselves into a corner they can't get out of. The majority say they really don't want to do it and don't believe it's right."

"Callers are often so impressed by the services LDS Social Services provides. Many who call are very frightened and have not had anywhere to turn. When we offer them counseling and other services, they are so grateful. This has been a blessing to so many people."

"We have to develop effective telephone skills, to communicate that we are understanding and non-judgmental. We need to listen and be empathetic."

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed