Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Exhale An After-Abortion Counseling Talkline

556 pageviews

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Hot Lines & Crisis Intervention, Mental Health

Mission: Exhale creates a social climate where each person’s unique experience with abortion is supported, respected, and free from stigma. Exhale provides services, training, and education to empower individuals, families, and communities to achieve post-abortion health and wellbeing. Now a growing community of women and men with personal abortion experiences, Exhale’s trend-setting pro-voice strategies provide support, facilitate connections, and develop forums where our members feel heard, supported and respected. We stand with one another as we shape what’s next in our own lives and as we shape new conversations with our friends, families, and communities about our emotional wellbeing after abortion. A community-led organization, Exhale is at the forefront of creating the cultural change our members want and need. We partner with the media to shift public dialogue; we advise advocates on communications strategies; we back efforts for new emotional health research; and we educate health providers in order to increase the quality and availability of post-abortion counseling. The impact of our work is felt by each person who feels loved and supported after an abortion, and who hears messages of support and respect from the media, political advocates, academic researchers, and health providers.

Results: For more than a decade, Exhale has listened to and supported thousands of women and men who have reached out to share their stories privately, and we have created a host of public forums where they can express themselves without fear of judgment. In our ten years of operation: Our talkline has received over 30,000 calls. We have conducted 14 trainings to prepare 125 women and men to serve as volunteer counselors. Over 250,000 talkline brochures have been placed in clinics nationwide. Over 2,500 health care staff have received Exhale trainings or training materials on emotional health care after abortion. We were awarded for "Excellence in Nonprofit Volunteer Management" by the Volunteer Center of the Bay Area in 2009. We continue to support the leadership of volunteers and pro-voice ambassadors as listeners, storysharers and peacemakers for the Pro-Voice Movement in a variety of forums, from local high schools to national conferences.

Target demographics: women who have had abortions and their partners, family, friends and allies

Geographic areas served: United States

Programs: Exhale's free national talkline, which provides emotional support, resources, and information to women who have had abortions, as well as to their partners, family, friends and allies. All calls are completely confidential. The service is available in multiple languages, including: English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Vietnamese. Exhale creates a social climate where each person’s unique experience with abortion is supported, respected, and free from stigma. Exhale provides services, training, and education to empower individuals, families, and communities to achieve post-abortion health and wellbeing.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I accessed this talkline after I had to make the very difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy because I had just left a relationship in which there were threats of violence, intimidation, stalking, and verbal abuse. I learned I was pregnant right after breaking up with this man. It was an overwhelming situation, as I was terrified he would discover I had had an abortion (against his religious beliefs) and worried he would retaliate. Because my family is also anti-abortion, I only had a couple of friends to talk to about the abortion and felt isolated and terrified. I called Exhale multiple times late at night and on weekends in the months following the abortion and received nothing but unconditional support and respect from the volunteers on the other end of the line. I am ever grateful for their generosity and support. It helped me through one of the worst times in my life. Thank you thank you thank you.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer talkline counselor since last fall. It provides well organized and comprehensive training program that covers lots of different topics (such as different political views and cultural views) related to abortion. It is also a great opportunity to know a group of great people, who have passion and empathy, who understand and respect the power of story sharing. Even after the training, there is always support from great staff and your fellow volunteers. As a counselor, I laugh and cry with callers; by listening to different people story, I share my life moments, connect with people, and feel alive. Exhale is a strong community, which is doing a great movement. It values people's voice, and it keeps developing and growing.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've done a lot of volunteer work with several organizations over the years, but none of my other experiences compare to Exhale. Exhale lives and breathes its mission to impact social change on many scales by offering empathy and a safe place to let stories be told. It has an unbelievable team at its helm-- women with passion, strength, empathy, and heart. It is constantly trying to grow and improve as an organization, which it achieves in part by making its volunteers feel valued and appreciated. I've volunteered as a talkline counselor for about a year and a half now, and I couldn't imagine my life without it!

An overall fantastically-run organization with an important mission and huge potential for impact. I love Exhale!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been volunteering as a talkline counselor for about a year now. I think the most important thing I can say about Exhale is that it doesn’t just align with my values, it has helped me clarify what my values are. The same kind of qualities that we’re trained to foster in our talkline calls (respect for individual experience, nonjudgmental listening, empowering callers and championing their strengths) are the same qualities that I see in conversations at the organizational level, even in things like fund-raising. They were also really apparent in our training. (I found myself wondering why all educational experiences couldn’t be more like this!) And they’ve found their way into the rest of my life, helping me have better relationships with my friends, colleagues, and family.

Being on the line has been a really rich experience — sometimes exhilarating, and sometimes frankly really hard. What sustains me and makes me want to continue this work is my belief that that people’s abortion experiences deserve to be heard in an environment of caring, free from stigma. I know from talking to callers just how rare that kind of environment can be. I also get amazing support from Exhale staff and my fellow volunteers that has helped me grow as a counselor and meet the challenges that doing this kind of work can pose. This organization attracts really caring, smart, self-aware people who have been a joy to meet. Come join us!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Exhale is a great space to grow into counseling and abortion rights work. You hear a variety of stories and learn to appreciate the myriad complexities that life throws at us. We do a lot of role-playing before getting on the talkline, have a great training experience, and have the amazing opportunity to connect with others through both the training cohort and with callers. Exhale's leaders are such competent, intuitive folks and I feel backed by them 100%. The Pro-Voice movement is something that resonates with me deeply and is helping to heal the hurts of the world. Check Exhale out!

1 Ellie A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with exhale as a volunteer for about 8 months, and have nothing but the highest regard for its staff, its big picture movement, and its after-abortion talkline. The volunteer training was enlightening and thorough, and the staff members continue to be amazing during our tenure on the talkline. Exhale consistently solicits feedback from volunteers on the direction the organization is heading, and really listens to our input. Exhale, as far as I'm concerned, is also promulgating best practices in the area of talkline peer counseling as well as its "pro voice" movement with regard to abortion. The experience with Exhale has been invaluable, and I cannot recommend its work highly enough.

1 Susan353

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer at Exhale for more than a year. I was looking for experience working in a counseling role and chose Exhale because a friend recommended it. She said that Exhale provided excellent support for their volunteers, and she couldn't have been more right. The training is thorough, incredibly well-organized, and carefully thought through. Exhale has such a great reputation training and supporting their volunteers that they can afford to be selective when choosing their volunteers, making for a committed, and talented community of peers. When it came time to begin my time on the talk-line, I felt nervous, but very well-prepared and supported. Now I look forward to my time on the talk-line, and honored by the opportunity to provide rare, non-judgmental support to people going through an abortion experience.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Exhale is composed of members and volunteers just as amazing as its work. This organization creates a space where non-judgmental listening and empathy are put at the forefront of every interaction. The staff and members are genuine, kind and driven people. Volunteer training is comprehensive and well-organized. Like other volunteers have shared--training hours were often the highlight of my week. I always felt motivated, optimistic and empowered to move forward in my development during training, and I never felt alone. The staff are there to prepare and support you in supporting others. It's a wonderful community that I feel very lucky to be a part of. I cannot recommend Exhale enough!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at Exhale for about a year and a half and I have nothing but the greatest support and appreciation for this organization. Since starting counseling work with Exhale, I have grown so much as an individual. I now volunteer at numerous other organizations and I can guarantee Exhale is one of the most organized and top-quality organizations out there. Furthermore, the community at Exhale is amazingly empowering and empathetic; every time I attend a meeting, I leave feeling stronger as a woman and as a member of the mental/reproductive/women's health community. If you are looking to get more involved in this field, you should definitely consider applying to Exhale!

1 Bethany11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Exhale had been on my radar for a few years before I joined the Volunteer training this past year. I am so thankful I was able to attend the training finally and wish I had done it sooner. While I learned how to support our callers, I also was introduced to a new way to think about every day life through the Pro-Voice lens. Exhale training was thorough and prepared me for my work on the talk-line, the training prepared us for the complex calls we would receive and gave us the tools we needed in a caring and supportive environment. I enjoy every shift I have, I have a great staff that I can lean on when I need support, and the continuing training and learning through our meet-ups are absolutely wonderful.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

You meet wonderful people, have thorough, thoughtfully-paced trainings in a caring and supportive environment, and have a lot of opportunities to grow within the organization. What Exhale provides is exactly what the world needs: understanding and healing.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having worked with a lot of non-profits, I believe Exhale is top-notch. I've been a volunteer talkline counselor for about eight months now and it has been amazing to work with Exhale.

I think the training to be a talkline counselor is extremely thorough and well-done. The days and times that the trainings are held worked very well with my schedule. Each training was dedicated to learning something new and then practicing what we learned. By the end of the training, I felt confident and comfortable with taking phone calls.

Additionally, the staff ensure that all the counselors are well taken care of and supported. I'll never forget when I first started doing shifts on the talkline and I had had a difficult call. Exhale staff stepped in to check-in with me and provide me with support. Additionally, we have quarterly meet-ups where we check-in and Exhale opens up the floor for volunteers to re-connect. Exhale is truly invested in their volunteers and it shows through their actions.

I've learned so much by being a part of Exhale's volunteers. It has been great to have an opportunity to connect, learn from and be a part of a community that is making change!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Exhale is a nonprofit that is invested in social change. From their amazing website which is consistently updated and interactive to their social justice model of Pro-voice, Exhale speaks to what the community needs. As a volunteer at Exhale, I have always felt safe and welcomed. There are countless opportunities as a volunteer to get involved with Exhale. The staff at Exhale are warm and have such empathy to everyone and their life experiences. They also encourage us to be pro-voice about our experiences. We talk the talk and walk the walk at Exhale!! I cannot wait to see Exhale in the future and how much of an impact they will continue to make on the world. I'm inspired by all of the volunteers, staff, and board members because we all can speak to what pro-voice is about.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with a variety of nonprofits in the past few years Exhale is one of the best out there. I have been a volunteer on the after-abortion talkline for a little over a year now and I am constantly impressed with Exhale as an organization and a community. The staff are professional, supportive, and passionate about the work they do. As a volunteer, I received exceptional training and continued to get a lot of support during my time volunteering on the talkline. I am so impressed with how organized and professional Exhale is! They have renewed my faith that it is possible to do important work, change the world, and still be a well run organization.

The training is about 60 hours, but the trainings are fun and interactive- they were often the highlight of my week! I nick-named it "how to be a good person training" because the skills I learned in the Exhale training have carried over to every part of my life. Plus, Danielle and Maggie (the Exhale staff members who volunteers interact with the most) are two the the most amazing, compassionate, and supportive people I have ever had the chance to work with.

After completing the training, talkline volunteers are expected to make a year-long commitment to take 8 talkline shifts per month. It is definitely a significant time commitment, but has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I feel like I am truly connecting with and helping another person with each counseling call that I take. Exhale is an incredible organization that is truly making the world a better place and I have had nothing but positive experiences volunteering with them.