Social Engagement: High
What’s What: There are a lot of people in psychic pain. Luckily, there are wonderful organizations out there designed to provide round-the-clock support.
Amava Take: Loneliness is a modern epidemic and depression and anxiety are on the rise. You can be part of the cultural shift towards destigmatizing mental health struggles and act as first-line relief for someone who needs help. With technological advances, it is easier than ever to be there for someone else.
From the Front Lines:
What kinds of candidates are you looking for to fill these jobs?
Empathetic, patient and calm people do really well as crisis counseling volunteers.
Any tips for first-timers to make it a productive and fulfilling experience?
Never go rogue. Organizations rely on research and proven techniques to help people when they need it most.
What’s a typical daily schedule like?
Usually you agree to take calls or texts during specific shifts.
From the Trenches:
What’s the most satisfying part of the job?
Knowing I provided a place to be heard for someone who felt alone.
How would you describe the hard parts?
It is never easy to hear about someone who feels hurt, abandoned or desperate.
Would you recommend this volunteer job to others?
I’ve grown as a person by doing this work. I can’t imagine the person who wouldn’t.
Special Requirements: Some centers will require a background check and most require in-depth crisis training. Other than that, this work is about having the heart and presence of mind to listen without judgment when someone needs you. Here’s an overview of crisis counseling and here’s a day-in-the-life of a crisis hotline volunteer.
Finding a Position: There are many organizations with a national presence looking for crisis volunteers. Some specifically address suicide prevention. Some specifically serve runaway and homeless teens or LGBTQ youth. One highly effective, data-driven organization offers clients crisis management via text message.