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Coping during the festive season: CHS appeals for volunteers as it prepares to answer holiday distress calls

17:55 21/12/2022
English-language helpline urgently needs more volunteers for its 24/7 service

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but for many people it can also be the most stressful one. Decorations abound and friends, family and colleagues seem full of holiday cheer.

Unfortunately, some of us are alone, without loved ones nearby, with complicated family issues, or are facing the recent loss of a dear one, reminds the CHS-Community Help Service in Brussels as it appeals for more volunteers

“Loneliness is a big issue, especially in a country where many expats come from all corners of the globe for work, leaving family and friends behind. It can be difficult to know where to turn to share the burden of emotional struggles with someone that cares,” says the helpline’s spokesperson. 

While CHS is a mental health service, its helpline is entirely run by volunteers who dedicate their time to listening with empathy to people in need and or distress. In 2022, the helpline received 14,050 calls from the English-speaking community in Belgium, but was only able to answer 5,100 of those calls.

The helpline operates a 24/7 service and sometimes there are not enough volunteers able to answer these important calls. With such a high demand from the community, CHS is looking to expand its team for 2023 and beyond.

If offering comfort and an empathic listening ear to someone in need is something that you feel inspired by, CHS will welcome your help. As a new member of the team, you will be trained in active listening skills, and you will have ongoing support and supervision provided by members of the clinical team of CHS. Simply email your interest to

The CHS would like to wish everyone better mental health in 2023.

Photo: (c) Belga


Written by The Bulletin