Must be 18 years of age and over. Individuals 17 years old must have peer counselling experience
Must be caring, non-judgmental and a good listener
Must be able to keep accurate and complete written records of calls
Must be willing to undergo initial screening procedures, basic training program and on-going training
Speak to distressed callers – utilize active listening, crisis and suicide risk assessment tools and intervention techniques and refer, according to Distress Centre training
Keep written records and reports on all incoming and/or outgoing call and write recommendations to supervisor
Attend Basic Training, Advanced Training, Team Meetings and In-service workshops to update skills and to remain current on all new and relevant techniques, services etc.
Maintain accurate track of and log all volunteer hours contributed
Adhere to all the policies and procedures of Distress Centre Durham
Basic Training focuses on effective communication, active listening skills (empathy, clarification/paraphrasing, open-ended questions, building confidence, referral/resource info if appropriate, etc.) crisis and suicide risk assessment, theory & techniques in intervention and prevention
With a focus on the unique needs of adult learners, the training workshops are delivered using a variety of techniques including training tapes, manuals, group discussion and role-plays
Orientation (includes a tour of the call centre, computer training, introduction to the community resources and referrals database and policy review)
Advanced Training will enhance active listening and crisis de-escalation skills and offer instruction in stress management techniques
In-service Training deal with relevant topics of interest to the helpline workers. Attendance is mandatory at 1 per year.
Our volunteer commitment is flexible. For the first year, volunteers will complete 16 hours a month (with 8 of those hours between the hours of 10:00 pm – 6:00 am). After this 200 hours/one-year commitment, the minimum can be reduced to as little as 4 hours a month with no overnight requirement. Volunteers have the opportunity to sign up for their shifts based on their unique schedule.
Interpersonal communication, and risk assessment skills which will be of benefit in both personal and professional relationships
A verification letter upon fulfillment of the Volunteer Contract
Computer training and an opportunity to work on a data collection and word processing software program
An opportunity to transition into other volunteer positions with various Distress Centre Durham services
Opportunities to build and develop skills relevant to Human and Social Service Work