Our highly trained volunteers are dedicated to providing compassionate support to those in distress. In turn, Distress Centre is dedicated to supporting the incredible work they do. We ensure they are prepared, comfortable and successful in their role.
After you submit your volunteer application, please ensure that your two references have submitted their reference forms, as they need to be received for your application to be considered complete.
Training takes place over a 3-week period with a combination of Microsoft Teams classroom sessions and self-paced online modules. Classroom training is followed by supervised shifts where trainees support service users on-site in our contact centre. Attendance is required for all of the training modules and coaching shifts as well before you will be able to be on the lines solo. Social distancing measures are in place and in accordance to the Government of Alberta public health measures.
Our highly trained volunteers provide confidential support to callers and online clients (via chat). They do this by listening, managing crisis situations, ensuring the contactor is safe, and providing the appropriate information about Distress Centre programs as well as refer them to services within the community.
As an Online Services Crisis Line Volunteer, working from your own home, you provide service users (via e-mail and chat) with confidential service using tools and skills acquired in classroom theory, practical/on-going training, and continuous feedback. You offer service users support, crisis intervention, and provide appropriate information and referrals to programs within Distress Centre as well as the community. Our volunteers must be able to demonstrate flexibility and adaptability in changing situations. This can include taking multiple chats, covering peer-support services, and keeping up to date with the latest best practices, policies, and procedures. Volunteers are also expected to enter short reports on all service user contacts to allow follow-up and/or evaluations by the staff.