Become a volunteer Crisis Counselor for Crisis Text Line
“I volunteer for Crisis Text Line because practicing empathy and reflective listening makes me a better friend, partner, and employee.” — CRISIS COUNSELOR, STUDENT
What our Crisis Counselors 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.
We need you at night
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 counseling is a big commitment
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. We therefore need volunteers to see training through to the end and serve out their 200-hour commitment.
How Crisis Counselors work
We 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. Learn more from our founder/CEO’s TED Talk:
This all begins with training in crisis counseling. 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.
“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
More benefits to 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 every two weeks, 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.
(Already started an application? Sign in here.)
Complete the 30-minute Crisis Counselor application and consent to a background check.
Complete the 30-hour web-based crisis counseling and intervention training.
Take your first counseling shift and start changing lives!