Together We Give Hope

Distress Services Volunteer Application

Apply to be a Volunteer Distress Services Worker
STEP 1 of 2: Review Job Description


To answer calls at the Crisis Centre and to provide non-judgmental listening, support and intervention.


  • Interact with callers, chatters, volunteers, and staff in a respectful and
    empowering manner
  • Maintain client confidentiality within the parametres defined by the
    Crisis Centre
  • Participate in skill development training and skill monitoring as required
  • To screen all calls and chats for lethality and follow risk assessment protocol
  • To provide crisis intervention, support, and resource referrals as
    outlined by Crisis Centre policy and procedure
  • To consult and debrief with Crisis Centre staff regarding challenging
    calls including suicide, child abuse, and violence
  • Participate in other Crisis Centre activities, events, and workshops as

Time Commitment:

  • 96 hours of supervised basic training, plus another 10 hours of home preparation.
  • 200 hours on the distress line over 1 year (approx. 4hrs/week)
  • 8 overnight shifts (inc. in 200 hours of DS)
  • 48 hours of web-based hotline shifts (inc. in 200 hours of DS)
  • 23 hours of advanced skill/follow-up training
  • Minimum 3 in-service workshops per year

Minimum Requirements/Qualifications:

  • proficiency speaking English
  • comfortable and competent using computers
  • 1 year recovery from any major life event such as, death, divorce, addiction, mental illness
  • 1 year since calling the Crisis Centre for support
  • 2 years recovery from a personal suicide attempt or the suicide death of a
    significant individual
  • successful completion of Crisis Centre basic training
  • life experience or education that promotes services to callers in a way
    which is empowering and respectful


  • 24 hour staff on call
  • volunteers must be comfortable working independently


  • basic and advanced training in crisis intervention and suicide prevention
  • in-service workshops from various community agencies
  • reference letters (after 100 hours on the lines including 4 overnights and completion of 3 & 6 month training & skills monitoring)
  • leadership in senior volunteer activities

Our Application Form

Our screening process is lengthy and in-depth. Volunteers on the crisis lines
are often responding to very vulnerable callers and we must be sure we have the
right people staffing our lines.

To help us get to know you, to learn about your life experiences, your
related skills and your understanding of the helping process, we have asked some
important, but sensitive questions.

We rarely decline to interview someone solely on the basis of the contents of
their application. Your answers do not have to be perfect. We are looking for
people with genuine caring, compassion and a willingness to learn new skills.
Who you are is far more important to us than a particular academic background or
specific work experience.

Your application will be held in confidence, with only your interviewer and
certain staff members having access to the information. If you would rather not
respond to a particular question in writing you may indicate in the relevant
section that you will be pleased to discuss the question during the interview.

Should you have any questions or concerns about our application and screening
process, we encourage you to call our office at 604-872-1811 or email us.  Thank you for taking the time to complete this application.

If You Agree To The Above Requirements
STEP 2 of 2: Complete An Application Form

Complete Distress Services Application Form

Note:  The system does not permit you to bookmark your application form, in other words, you cannot save your application to complete it later.