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CONFIDENTIAL CHAT

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.
    • Final decisions regarding these risk factors are not placed on the volunteers as staff will be making these decisions. However, it is the volunteer’s duty to notify a member of the Distress Centre staff when there is a person who is at risk according to Distress Centre policies.
  • Handling multiple contacts to ensure individuals are safe and that everyone is heard.
  • Documenting all contacts per Distress Centre procedures.
  • Volunteers are required to answer calls from a variety of our partnership lines such as Canadian Suicide Prevention Service (CSPS)*, Mobile Response Team, SeniorConnect, and more.
    • *CSPS is a nationally available, regionally delivered 24/7 suicide intervention sevice. The purpose is to decrease service gaps nationwide to anyone thinking about, or affected by, suicide. Distress Centre Calgary is one of the pilot sites on this Canada-wide initiative.

Qualifications & Requirements

  • Excellent command of communication and interpersonal skills including: active listening, empathy, and patience
  • Ability to be level-headed in a crisis
  • Strong ability to work both independently and within team environments
  • 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. Once training is successfully completed, volunteers are expected to work one weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) shift per month for the first three months of the commitment. 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. Inability to maintain and be consistent in completing this requirement will result in dismissal.

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

2019 Training

Training Group Application Due Date Interview Period Training Dates
November 2019 October 7, 2019 Oct 14-25, 2019 November 12-30, 2019

2020 Training

Training Group Application Due Date Interview Period 2:00pm Group Interview 6:00pm Group Interview 10:00am Group Interview Notified by: Observation Period: Training Dates
January 25-Nov-19 Dec 2-6, 2019 10-Dec-19 11-Dec-19 12-Dec-19 16-Dec-19 Dec 17, 2019-Jan 6, 2020 Jan 7-25, 2020
March 10-Feb-20 Feb 18-21, 2020 25-Feb-20 26-Feb-20 27-Feb-20 2-Mar-20 March 3-9, 2020 March 10-28, 2020
April 9-Mar-20 Mar 16-20, 2020 24-Mar-20 25-Mar-20 26-Mar-20 30-Mar-20 March 31 - April 13, 2020 April 14-May 2, 2020, 2020
May 6-Apr-20 April 13-17, 2020 21-Apr-20 22-Apr-20 23-Apr-20 27-Apr-20 April 28-May 10, 2020 May 11-15, 2020
June 27-Apr-20 May 3-7, 2020 11-May-20< 12-May-20 13-May-20 18-May-20 May 19-June 1, 2020 June 1-19, 2020

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.

What You Can Expect

  • Receive regular feedback and development
  • Paired with a Distress Centre Calgary mentor to provide support and guidance
  • Obtain training and support in effectively assessing a de-escalating crisis and high stress situations
  • Make tangible differences in others’ lives and feel connected to the community
  • Develop your communication and social skills and gain perspectives, or self-awareness
  • Be a part of a supportive team and create lasting friendships
  • Receive a reference letter upon completion of your first volunteer commitment

What We Can Expect

  • Volunteers to maintain communication with the agency
  • Volunteers adhere to their commitment

Questions?

Still have some questions? Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Our Impact Funders: