Providing immediate and confidential crisis support (chat and emails) 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
Must be over 18 years of age (Under 18? Volunteer with ConnecTeen instead!
Exceptional 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
Note: Due to the nature of the Online Services 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.
There is an expected commitment of 24 shifts in the first 6 months, minimum of 4 shifts per month, and shifts are 5 hours in length. Shift start times are the following: 3pm, 5pm, or 5:30pm Monday to Friday; 12pm, 3pm, 5pm, or 5:30pm on weekends and statutory holidays. 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 runs on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6pm-9pm and on Saturdays from 9am-4pm for three weeks.
Application Due Date
June 4, 2018
June 11-22, 2018
July 10-28, 2018
July 3, 2018
July 9-20, 2018
August 7-25, 2018
September 7, 2018
August 13-24, 2018
September 11-29, 2018
September 4, 2018
Sept 10-21, 2018
Oct 9-27, 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
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)