Why Do I need an Active Listener for my next ONLINE event?
As an Active Listener, I am not a mental health professional, I am a person with lived experience who has a compassionate and empathetic approach to listening to others. All conversations are kept confidential and in collaboration with the individual receiving the service. If desired, applicable mental health resources will be offered to ensure the individual leaves feeling supported.
Online Active Listener during Workman Art’s virtual Rendezvous with Madness 2020 festival.
What is an active Listener and why is it important to have one at my event?
This is a peer-to-peer emotional support service. During events there will be engaging and honest discussions about the human experience. Materials can be difficult for some and active listeners offer self-care and emotional support. The Active Listener is there to create an online safe space and an environment of care. They are the person that creates a welcoming space. The Active Listener service allows participants to:
- gain access to a peer support.
- speak to someone if they feel triggered.
- talk to a compassionate, empathetic, trauma informed individual to listen.
- receive mental health resources, if desired.
- separate from the event to reground and regroup before leaving the event or continuing with it.
How does this work for online events?
I am introduced in the promotions of the event and during the introduction so people know to expect me and what I can do for them if needed.
Every event is different and this is just one way it could work. Together, can we think of more ways to support participants ?
My Intention at every Event
My goal is to leave every conversation knowing that the individual feels a little more heard than when we first started. This isn’t always possible. Resources to support the person including sharing distress lines or community groups are shared to give the person further support outside our time. Each person is responsible for their own well-being. The Active Listener is there to support them in this transition.
My experience has been in both online and offline settings. Though there are differences, the experience of connecting with someone ultimately will remain similar. My style is to be a person’s motivator and the emotional buddy they “sit” beside. I am so grateful for the opportunity for people to trust me with their feelings and vulnerabilities. Content viewed can stir up emotions, ones that perhaps folks didn’t know they had within. That is the beauty of art, whether through theatre, film, workshops and discussions and visual exhibitions. Art has a wonderful way of transforming us, deeply connecting us and the privilege to be with someone in their moment of connection is humbling and unites us as human beings.
Are all Active Listeners alike?
There are similarities in that our goal is to listen to folks and provide emotional support. However, how we approach the role is very personal to who we are and our personal lived experiences. Finding the right person for your event to serve your viewers and attendees, in my opinion, is the priority. If you need support in finding someone else best suited, please let me know. I have consulted other festivals on the role and am happy to share my network with you. Taking care of people is the main goal.
JayU Human Rights Film Festival (December 2020)
Rendezvous With Madness Festival (October 2020)
Bi+Arts Festival (September 2020)
Jayu Human Rights Film Festival (December 2019)
Rendezvous With Madness Festival (October 2019)
Broken Branches, Theatre performance (September 2019)
Virtual Front Desk (April 2020-Present)
Music Industry 101 (February-March 2021)
Intro to Podcasting (January 2021)
Self Stories Theatre (January-March 2021)
The Power of Poetry in Songwriting (November 2020)
Introduction to GarageBand (November 2020)
Truth and Fiction: how to negotiate the sharing of personal stories through creative writing (September-November 2020)
Creative Entrepreneurship 101 (September – October 2020)
Art from Experience: skills for writing culturally sensitive artist statements and grant proposals (September 2020)
Wah Wah Reading Group (April 2020)
Creative Expressions in Water (January-March 2020)
Self Stories Theatre (January-March 2020)
Non-Fictional Poetry (January-March 2020)