Distress Line Volunteer Position Description

What would you be doing? You will be a crisis line responder, providing emotional support and crisis intervention on the 408-HELP line.

What qualities are we looking for?

  • Excellent communication skills: a good listener
  • Ability to build rapport and convey empathy
  • Capacity to remain calm and effective in challenging situations
  • Non-judgemental and accepting of diverse values and beliefs
  • Reliability and punctuality
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team environment
  • Good self-awareness and common sense
  • Emotional resilience, stability and maturity
  • Proficiency in English
  • Open to feedback
  • Adherence to Distress Centres' policies, procedures and call-taking guidelines
  • Ability to support Distress Centres' philosophy of empowering individuals to identify their strenghts

For your consideration:

Timing is everything. Because we are dealing with vulnerable individuals, if you are currently experiencing your own personal trauma or emotional difficulties, this position may not be a good fit for you at this time. If you have experienced trauma in the past, it is important that you have worked through it with insight before going on to help others.

What our responsibility to you is:

To provide training, protocols, policies, support and supervision to help volunteers do their job.

What we ask in return:

To work one shift per week, including one overnight shift a month, for a period of at least one year (or comparable number of hours) following training. You will be able to choose your weekly shifts from designated shift times. If you have any questions or concerns regarding shift scheduling, you will be able to address this with one of our volunteer coordinators.

What will be expected of you

  • Two references that are professional or volunteer-related
  • Police reference check, including vulnerable sector screening
  • $40 fee to offset the costs of materials and police reference checks
  • Successful completion of a comprehensive 40-hour training program
  • Reliability in fulfilling shift commitments
  • Working within Distress Centres' policy and procedure guidelines
  • Maintaining confidentiality about your work with Distress Centres
  • Participation in ongoing training and work-related opportunities for growth

What is in it for you?

Helping those in need in your own community can be tremendously rewarding. It is a unique opportunity to help others, while also developing and enhancing communication skills that many find useful in everyday personal and business life.

Other benefits include:

  • Training
  • Enhanced self-growth
  • Increased knowledge of community resources
  • Learning new information about social issues
  • Opportunity to volunteer in an organization where diversity is welcomed and celebrated
  • Personal satisfaction of knowing one is making a difference in the community
  • Preparation for careers such as social work, psychology, community outreach, etc.
  • Letter of reference upon fulfillment of one-year commitment

As part of our commitment to volunteers, reference letters and confirmations of volunteerism are provided upon request to those who have fulfilled the specified requirements.  When providing reference letters, Distress Centres is only able to attest to a volunteer's skills, experience and personal qualities.  For clarity, reference letters and confirmations of volunteerism will note that Distress Centres volunteers engage in supportive counselling, but do not engage in psychotherapy, in the course of their volunteer work.