Crisis Line Volunteer

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Providing immediate and confidential crisis support (phone, chat, etc.) using agency procedures and policies, the
  • Robert’s Model of Crisis Intervention, and in consultation with the Contact Centre Coordinators.
  • Providing information and referrals to Distress Centre programs and community organizations.
  • Addressing risk factors including, but not limited to, suicide, child safety, self-harm, and domestic violence.
  • Handling multiple contacts to ensure individuals are safe and that everyone is heard.
  • Documenting and creating reports on all contacts.

Qualifications & Requirements

  • Excellent command of communication and interpersonal skills including: active listening, empathy, and patience
  • Ability to be level-headed in a crisis
  • Works well with others
  • Demonstrates self-awareness in areas such as: coping, stress-management and emotions
  • Ability to receive developmental feedback
  • Non-judgmental, accepting of diverse values and beliefs, and open-minded to callers with a variety of concerns
  • Excellent computer skills
  • Willing and able to follow policies and procedures
  • Must be over 18 years of age (Under 18? Volunteer with ConnecTeen instead!)

Note: Due to the nature of the Crisis Line Volunteer position, we ask applicants who have experienced a personal trauma/life event in the past 12 months to wait one year prior to applying. Also, a criminal record and child welfare check are to be conducted on every new volunteer with their consent at no cost to themselves.

Time Requirements

There is an expected commitment of 48 shifts in the first year, minimum of 4 shifts a month, and shifts vary from 3-5 hours in length. Shift choices range from start times at 6:00am and end times 1:00am. Volunteers set their own schedules based on availability or can correspond with the Volunteer Scheduling Coordinator. There will be occasions where, due to unforeseen circumstances, the volunteer may need to stay past the formal shift end time. Credit hours will be given in accordance with the time spent.

Orientation & Training

Our volunteers do not need prior knowledge or experience in crisis support. Distress Centre offers comprehensive training to all new volunteers in topics including, but not limited to: crisis intervention, addictions, relationships, and domestic violence. Distress Centre’s initial training is 60 hours, with opportunities for additional developmental monthly training.

Note: Alternative arrangements for training dates cannot be accommodated. Volunteers-in-training are expected to attend all sessions.

Training Schedule

Training runs on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6pm-9pm and on Saturdays from 9am-4pm for three weeks.

Training Group Application Due Date Interview Period Training Dates
August 2018 July 3, 2018 July 9-20, 2018 August 7-25, 2018
September 2018 September 7, 2018 August 13-24, 2018 September 11-29, 2018
October 2018 September 4, 2018 Sept 10-21, 2018 Oct 9-27, 2018
November 2018 October 9, 2018 October 15-26, 2018 Nov 13 - Dec 1, 2018

**May (L.I.V.E) Training will only be offered if there is enough interest.


  • All training and shifts take place at the agency location: #300 1010 8th Avenue SW. Distress Centre is wheelchair accessible
  • Parking is also provided for volunteers on shift once they have begun their commitment.

Supervision & Support

  • Volunteers are paired with mentors whose responsibilities include providing developmental feedback, debriefing support, etc.
  • Regular feedback is also provided to the volunteer by the Contact Centre Coordinator at least once per shift
  • Distress Centre invests in the volunteers and provides the support, resources, and the opportunities needed to grow and create change in the community

Volunteer Benefits

  • Make tangible differences in others’ lives and feel community connectedness
  • Development of communication and social skills to integrate into your personal/professional life
  • Gain and/or enhance perspectives on self-awareness
  • Obtain training and support in effectively assessing and de-escalating crisis/high stress situations
  • Be a part of a supportive team and create lasting friendships
  • Receive a reference letter upon completion of your first volunteer commitment (48 shifts)

Our Impact Funders: