Together We Give Hope

Volunteer Crisis Services Responder

The Distress Services Program, accredited by the American Association of Suicidology, provides 24-hour phone- and chat-based support to the community including:

  • Emotional support
  • Help to navigate ongoing mental health concerns
  • Management of suicide crisis
  • Identifying resources for short- and long-term support
  • Skills for coping with situational crises

As our service is complex and dynamic, the front-line role requires genuine compassion, combined with critical thinking abilities. Intensive training and ongoing supervision are provided to volunteers over the course of their work with us; our robust training and ongoing supervision are well-recognized by universities and helping agencies across the province.

The bulk of service is provided by volunteers, alongside several staff Crisis Services Responders.

Be part of fostering a caring and connected community!

Are you looking to:

  • Gain highly valuable transferable knowledge and skills?
  • Make a career change?
  • Provide a meaningful contribution to the community?
  • Receive relevant experience for graduate programs in counselling psychology, medical school, social work programs, nursing, genetic counselling, or another helping profession?

If so, volunteering with us could be a rewarding, enriching, and challenging experience!

Minimum Requirements/Qualifications:

  • Must reside in the Lower Mainland for all training and volunteering
  • Ability to convey respect and care to people in crisis
  • Willingness to receive and apply constructive feedback
  • Comfortable and competent in using computers
  • Ability to demonstrate critical thinking skills
  • Ability to work independently within a team
  • Proficiency in verbal and written English
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Willingness to engage in ongoing training for the tenure of your volunteer work with the Crisis Centre
  • Willingness to align to the Crisis Centre policies and protocols
  • Life experience or education that enhances the knowledge or serves the needs of the community, preferred
  • At least 1-year recovery if experienced any major life event such as death, divorce, addiction, mental illness
  • At least 1 year since calling the Crisis Centre for your own support
  • At least 2 years of recovery from a personal suicidal attempt or the suicide death of a significant individual

Application Details

We are now accepting applications for our July 2023 Training.

Please see the July 2023 Training Dates below. Training sessions are a hybrid model: some sessions are in-person, and others are done remotely over zoom. 

All training dates are mandatory, and cannot be missed or made up.

  • Session 1: Saturday, Jul. 22nd — 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Session 2: Tuesday, Jul. 25th — 6:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Session 3: Saturday, Jul. 29th — 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Session 4: Tuesday, Aug. 1st — 6:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Session 5: Saturday, Aug. 5th — 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Session 6: Tuesday, Aug. 8th — 6:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Session 7: Saturday, Aug. 12th — 10:00am – 3:00pm
  • Session 8: Tuesday, Aug. 15th — 6:00pm – 9:00pm
  • Session 9: Saturday, Aug. 19th — 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Session 10: Tuesday, Oct. 3rd — 6:00pm – 10:00pm

Monitoring period: August 2nd – September 27th, 2023 (in-person)

Please note: the monitoring period  involves taking live calls with staff support for 4 hours per week over 8 weeks, and must be done in-person and on-site. 

Next steps: 

If your application is accepted, you will be invited to attend a mandatory Zoom Information Night on Thursday, June 1st from 6:00pm – 8:30pm.

Submit an application.


Training Details

The Volunteer Crisis Services Responder training fee is $250. Fees are collected to cover some of the substantive training costs incurred, as we work hard to keep the information, training and service current and effective. A sliding scale is available for those who need it. Due to the demand for spaces in our training groups, should you not complete training for any reason, the fee is non-refundable. Please note: training fees are not due until you are interviewed and accepted for training.

For all other inquiries, please note that we will be holding an Info Night to answer questions as soon as your application is accepted and before we move forward with the intake process. This information session is mandatory to attend.