Get Involved

Become a Distress Line Volunteer

Volunteers are the lifeline of our service!  Our volunteers make a real difference in the lives of those in our community who are lonely or in crisis who may have no one else to turn to.

Our volunteers are:

  • Good listeners
  • Empathetic
  • Patient
  • Non-judgmental
  • Responsible and reliable
  • Able to handle a crisis
  • Dedicated
  • Respectful
  • 18 years or older

Our volunteers provide some of the most critical of human needs; communication, a sense of connection and a feeling that someone cares enough to listen.

  • They listen to each caller—and sometimes that’s all a person in distress needs to be able to feel they can cope.
  • They help callers explore solutions to the problems they are facing.
  • They offer a sense of friendship and support.  In fact, some of our callers facing chronic situations call us daily.  Talking with our volunteers enables them to cope.
  • They help prevent crises, they reduce the financial strain on our health care system, and they save lives!

During the first year following training, volunteers are required to work 12 hours (3 or 4 shifts) per month at the Distress Centre.  Shifts are either 3 or 4 hours in length and volunteers choose the shifts that are most convenient for them.  After their first year many of our volunteers choose to continue on the Distress Line or support the Centre in other ways.

Training sessions for new volunteers take place in October, February, and May (dates subject to change).  Each training session is 3 hours a week for 8 weeks.  We hold 3 evening training sessions each year on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 – 10:00 pm; and one daytime training session in the Spring from 1:00 – 4:00 pm (the day of the week varies).  All training sessions are held in Oakville.

Become a Distress Line Volunteer

Our volunteers find their experience at Distress Centre Oakville to be personally rewarding and enriching.  They receive extensive training in communication, sensitivity, crisis management, and more.  Through their ongoing training and work at Distress Centre Oakville, volunteers also:

  • Improve their active listening and effective communication skills
  • Learn crisis prevention and crisis intervention skills
  • Develop and improve skills useful in personal and business situations
  • Increase their knowledge of community resources
  • Learn about social issues
  • Gain valuable work experience.  Once volunteers have completed 144 volunteer hours — one year of continuous volunteer service — they also receive a professional letter of reference.

Please click the link below to complete an online Volunteer Application.

Once your application is received one of our staff will contact you with more information.  If you have questions please email

Police Record Check with Vulnerable Sector Screening

Before your Volunteer Application will be considered, you must obtain a current Police Record Check with Vulnerable Sector Screening.  Police Record Checks may take 4 to 6 weeks to process.  Police Record checks older than 3 months will not be considered.  For more information visit the Halton Regional Police Services website:

For residence living outside Halton please check with your local Police Services for more information.