Providing Telephone & Digital Peer Support to Baltimore County During COVID-19
In response to the current crisis, the Baltimore County PEERS Program has retooled their volunteer program to provide supportive phone or video visits to older Baltimore County residents who are struggling with anxiety, fear, hopelessness, loneliness and other challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Information sessions to learn more about the Connections Project are held every Friday from 11 AM to 12 PM. Join us for an overview of the Project, how to sign up as a participant or volunteer, and opportunities to get your questions answered.
Receive Supportive Calls
Anyone can refer someone to receive supportive calls; you can even refer yourself! Our referral form is very simple so we can reach as many Baltimore County older adults as possible. Click the button below to submit a referral or contact the Project Manager at 443-470-9426 to complete the form over the phone.
After receiving your referral, Connection Project staff will reach out to the person you referred to check in on their wellbeing and ask a few questions about their interests and preferences. After accepting entry into the Connections Project, we do our best to match older adults with volunteers best suited to provide meaningful engagement and support.
Volunteer as a Supportive Caller
We’re recruiting individuals to volunteer their time to visit with older adults over phone and video. To succeed, volunteers will need:
- A phone (alternate phone numbers can be obtained through Google Voice).
- To be at least 20 years old.
- Good communication skills, compassion and empathy for others who may be struggling.
- Acceptance and empathy towards mental health and addiction experiences.
- Openness to learning about mental health, aging, and wellness tools.
- To submit to a background check.
Volunteers are required to participate in a two-hour online training and participate in group supervision every other week through Zoom. The number of calls per week and the length of time that a pairing continues will depend on mutual agreement between the older adult and volunteer. We ask all volunteers to reach out to participants at least once per week. Based on the volume of referrals, volunteers will have an option to connect with more than one older adult.
If you think that the Connections Project is a good fit for your volunteer interests, please complete the form below so we can get in touch with you. If you’d like to learn more about the project first or ask any questions, join us for an Information Session.
Replicate the Connections Project
Interested in creating a Connections Project in your county? We’re happy to share our processes and materials with you. Contact the Project Manager at email@example.com to request materials or schedule a call to learn about the inner workings of the project.