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
- Responsible and reliable
- Able to handle a crisis
- 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!
Volunteers work three shifts per month at the Distress Centre for a period of at least one year following training. After their first year many of our volunteers choose to continue on the Distress Line or support the Centre in other ways. Volunteers choose the shifts that are most convenient for them.
Training sessions for new volunteers take place in September, January, and April of each year.
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 36 shifts — one year of continuous volunteer service — they also receive a professional letter of reference.
To volunteer please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out an on-line volunteer application and one of our staff will contact you with more information.