Volunteer for the Suicide Prevention Center
Becoming a volunteer crisis counselor for Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Prevention Center is one of the most intense but rewarding ways you can contribute to the community. Many volunteers crisis counselors are pursuing careers in the mental health field or considering a career change before applying to graduate school. Others are people who are looking for something meaningful to do in their spare time. Some have been touched by suicide. Others just want to help people in distress.
Our Suicide Prevention Center needs your help to staff its 24-hour Crisis Line and its online Crisis Chat.
Due to the nature of our work, we encourage applicants who have experienced suicide firsthand or through a loved one to seek suppport first before applying.Training
The training is time intensive because we want to make sure our counselors are ready when they are on the lines. At this time Crisis Counselors are expected to go through our 6-week training. DDH, and ASIST workshop at our Century City location.
Our training runs for 6 consecutive Saturdays; usually starting from 9 AM and ending at 3 PM. Trainees learn to facilitate crisis calls and chats by learning evidence-based approaches to suicide prevention and facilitating role-plays with each other and experienced trainers.
During the 6-week training, Trainees are expected to complete an 8-10 hour online training for Disaster Distress Helpline or DDH. We are one of the few centers in the United States where we take calls related to human-made and natural disasters. This training can be completed on your own time during the 6-week period.
Lastly, each training period includes a weekend workshop called ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training). ASIST is an evidence-based training model, developed by Living Works, and is complementary to our own suicide prevention training.Apprenticeship
Candidates who pass our 6-week training will be offered a weekly 4-hour shift at our Century City location. The following shifts are available to counselors:
8:30 am - 12:30 pm
12:30 pm - 4:30 pm
4:30 pm - 8:30 pm
6:30 pm- 10:30 pm (limited slots available)
8:30 pm - 12:30 am
In their first 3 months trainees are closely monitored and given substantial support. Help is always available, at no time are counselors left alone with a call or chat. Please note that volunteers do not take calls or chats from anywhere outside of the Crisis Line room.
To maintain skill level after training, all staff and volunteers are asked to attend a total of four continuing education lectures per year. Held at our main office, these seminars explore suicide and related topics and are provided by professionals in their respective areas of expertise.BBS Hours
Currently, the Suicide Prevention Center does not offer supervision for intern hours.How To Apply
To apply to be a suicide crisis counselor, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.