The Women's Journal

Meet One Of Our Listeners

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Why I became a ContactLifeline listener:

40-year ContactLifeline volunteer, Rosemary Barat, heard about ContactLifeline in 1982 roughly 6 months after losing her husband to an illness. She felt it was a great way to give back and be involved with supporting others who may be struggling in life. Rosemary says, “I had felt grief and loss, and it was overwhelming. I was drawn to the training to be a ContactLifeline listener and support others navigating their painful feelings.”

What the ContactLifeline training has meant to me:

Rosemary was immediately impressed with the training she received on reflective listening. This supportive, non-judgmental approach is rooted in listening skills that are devoid of advice-giving. “It has been amazing to me to experience the miracle that reflective listening can bring to a caller in crisis,” says Rosemary. “People often can recognize their next step in healing after being given an opportunity to explore their feelings openly.”  

Over the years: ContactLifeline 1982-present:

Much has changed in the 40 years Rosemary has been a volunteer. One example of this change has been that calls are now received from all over the country as a way to support the National Suicide Prevention Line (NSPL/988), though most calls are still from our local DE residents. Rosemary notes that even now in 2022 however, the mission of ContactLifeline remains the same, “…to make sure the caller is alive and safe, to help the caller through their crisis, and to connect the caller with any relevant community resources.”  

Becoming a ContactLifeline listener:

Rosemary continues to love being a volunteer, “. . . my plan is to continue as a ContactLifeline listener as long as I can. It has become a big part of who I am.”  

ContactLifeline’s mission is to keep people alive and safe, help them through crises and connect them with relevant community resources. Volunteers respond confidentially, offering crisis intervention, telephone counseling, information, referrals and suicide prevention. The in-person training program empowers you to make a difference in people’s lives. 

Once you decide that you want to volunteer with us, then please go to and click on the volunteer link and complete the form. If you have any questions, please call 302-761-9800 x 1002.

Become a listener that listens with a heart!

About us

ContactLifeline was established in 1974 as ContactLifeline Wilmington serving Delaware residents in the Wilmington and New Castle County areas. Then in 1982, the organization became incorporated. ContactLifeline, Inc., is a private 501(c) (3) non-profit agency and has served the Delaware community, state-wide. In the beginning, ContactLifeline Wilmington focused on handling crisis telephone calls from sexual assaults victims and survivors. Since then, ContactLifeline has the responsibility and honor to serve Delaware residents in their time of need  with all aspects of their lives, and even more so now during this current health and economic crisis. 

Our crisis helpline serves populations suffering suicidal ideation, depression, the chronically mentally ill, rape and sexual assault victims and the general population in need of information and referral services and anyone in need of a 24 hours/7 days a week/365 days in a year “listener.” If you want to talk, then call us at 1-800-262-9800.