Volunteer Opportunities


Our volunteers commit time to our cause, and in turn, we invest in them. We provide the training and support they need to be comfortable and successful in their role. Volunteers are vital to Distress Centre’s success, and we pride ourselves on creating lasting relationships with them.

  • Crisis Line Volunteers - Provide callers and online clients (via chat) with confidential service utilizing tools and skills acquired in classroom theory, practical/on-going training, and continuous feedback. You offer callers support, manage crisis situations over the phone/chat, and provide appropriate information and referrals to programs within Distress Centre as well as the community.
    Jump to Application Form.
  • Youth Program Volunteers - Provide peer support, crisis intervention, information and referrals to youth and their families on our ConnecTeen’s telephone line or online support forum. Youth volunteers are accepted from ages 15-20. Learn more about volunteering with ConnecTeen.
    Jump to Application Form.
  • Fundraising Volunteers - Work on planning, sponsorships, marketing and execution of fundraising events.
  • Board of Directors - Provide governance, strategy and policy guidance to Distress Centre. 

Do you have an idea for a volunteer position or project but don’t see it listed above? Contact us at: volunteer@distresscentre.com

Crisis Line Volunteer Position

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.

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.

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

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 (if volunteer is over 18) are to be conducted on every new volunteer with their consent at no cost to themselves.

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.

Crisis Line/ConnecTeen Training & Application Dates:
Training Dates
Application Due Dates
Interview Dates
August 8 - 26 July 10
July 17 - 28
September 12 - 30 August 14
August 21 - September 1
October 10 - 28 September 11
September 18 - 29
November 14 - December 2 October 16
October 23 - November 3

Location

  • 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)

Application Forms:

Upon completion of your application form, please send your application package electronically to volunteer@distresscentre.com.

"Volunteering on the crisis lines has reinforced my decision to pursue psychology and counseling as a career. I now realize, because of my positive experience volunteering, that this is definitely something I would like to do with my life."

-Volunteer