Become a Crisis Counselor

This information is for our service in the United States. Are you looking to volunteer in Canada, Ireland or the UK? Click here to volunteer in CanadaIreland, or the UK. If you have any questions throughout the application process, email info@crisistextline.org and someone will get back to you!

What Does a Crisis Counselor Do?

Crisis Text Line is the free, 24/7 text line for people in crisis in the United States. The service is powered by volunteer Crisis Counselors who work remotely—anywhere with a computer and secure internet connection works.

Crisis Counselors answer texts from people in crisis, bringing them from a hot moment to a cool calm through active listening, collaborative problem solving, and safety planning.

I volunteer for Crisis Text Line because practicing empathy and reflective listening makes me a better friend, partner, and employee.
CRISIS COUNSELOR, STUDENT

How Do I Become a Crisis Counselor?

This all begins with training. In 30 hours, you’ll walk away knowing reflective listening, collaborative problem solving, and crisis management. (These are skills that will help in your personal relationships too!)

You can train from anywhere—in your PJs, in a coffee shop, wherever—and our Crisis Counselors highlight this intervention training on their resumes when interviewing for jobs, applying to grad school, and building out their LinkedIn profile.

Time commitment & Hours

When the rest of the country is sleeping, 2/3 of our crisis situations—and by default texter volume—occurs at night. Our greatest need for Crisis Counselors is between 7pm and 3am PST (10pm and 6am EST).

Are you a night owl or early riser? Looking for an odd-hours volunteer opportunity in crisis intervention? You’ve found the right place!

Crisis Counselors commit to volunteering 4 hours per week until 200 hours are reached. Ideally, we expect you to fulfill your commitment within one year. Before you begin as a counselor, you’ll also complete a training period to give you all of the expertise you need to successfully and empathetically navigate crisis intervention.

This training is free for you, but it costs Crisis Text Line $1,008 to train each Crisis Counselor. So, we need volunteers to see training through to the end and serve out their 200-hour commitment.

Benefits of becoming a Crisis Counselor

Many of our Counselors earn volunteer leadership positions and get the first crack at Crisis Text Line internships and job openings. Outside of the career opportunities, you can also gain access to special privileges, including discounts and merch.

Moreover, this is an opportunity to hone your skills in communication, counseling, and intervention. You’ll be working alongside volunteers who are also social workers, therapists, and psychiatrists which can in turn sharpen your crisis management skills!

But most of all, you’ll feel supported. This is a community. We are a big awesome family.

Ready to become a Crisis Counselor?

We accept applications on a rolling basis. We begin new training cohorts weekly, but space is limited.

To apply, applicants must be 18 or older and have a US Social Security Number. You must also submit 2 references. To volunteer, Crisis Counselors must have access to reliable Internet access and a personal computer.

The Process:

Step 1

Complete the 30-minute Crisis Counselor application and consent to a background check

Step 2

Complete the 30-hour web-based crisis counseling and intervention training.

Step 3

Take your first counseling shift and start changing lives!

Being a Crisis Counselor teaches me so much around believing in hope, trusting the process, and deepening compassion — for others and for myself.
CRISIS COUNSELOR, STUDENT

Learn more about Crisis Text Line from our founder’s Ted Talk:

About Our Supervisors

Supervisors provide real-time support on our Platform 24/7—a paid professional is watching every conversation, supporting our Crisis Counselors as they serve people in crisis. Our Supervisors are qualified and empathetic Crisis Text Line staff members with expertise in crisis intervention. Through this collaborative approach, Supervisors oversee conversation quality, provide Crisis Counselors with security and stability, serve as the liaison to emergency and child protection services, and instill positivity to ensure texters receive the highest level of care.

About Our Coaches

Our Coaches support Crisis Counselors off the platform. They’ll guide you through training and be your point-person for all things Crisis Text Line. Your Coach gives feedback on conversations and can answer questions about the volunteer commitment. Expect them to communicate in a warm, thoughtful, and supportive way throughout your lifecycle here.

In a crisis?

Text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor

Free 24/7 support at your fingertips US and Canada: text 741741 UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 086 1800 280

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