Crisis Text Line is seeking to recruit 300 volunteers in advance of its launch later this year. Crisis Text Line is Ireland’s first free 24/7 text service for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.
The Crisis Text Line platform will connect texters with a volunteer, who is most likely at home, who has been trained to listen, reassure and guide people from a hot moment to a cool calm.
All conversations are anonymous, unless the texter wants to give their name, and are reviewed in real time by a team of qualified staff supervisors who will support volunteers to listen to and support texters.
The platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) to scan the initial messages from texters for keywords to identify those likely to be at immediate risk and prioritise those conversations in the queue.
Speaking about the new text service, Jim Ryan – Assistant National Director for Mental Health Operations, said, “The HSE is very pleased to fund and support the introduction of Crisis Text Line to Ireland later this year. This easily accessible service will complement existing mental health and suicide prevention supports, services and initiatives across the country. While it is a service aimed at the wider population, we feel it will particularly resonate with younger people or with those who feel isolated from more traditional supports. There are numerous HSE initiatives underway to develop new digital metal health supports in Ireland, and this project is one of those strands of work. It reinforces our commitments to deliver on recommendations that were outlined in the 2017 Youth Mental Health Task Force Report.”
Volunteering with Crisis Text Line
Volunteers need an ability to listen without judgement, a good internet connection and a private place (usually in their home) to communicate with texters. Those selected to become volunteers must complete a 30 hour training course over a six week period and commit to a 4 hour shift on the platform each week for one year. You can volunteer from anywhere; your sofa, kitchen table, bedroom, office – just as long as it’s private and you won’t be distracted.
Who you are:
You’re kind. You’re a great listener. You’re passionate about supporting people in crisis. You’re open-minded. And you’re dedicated!
What you’ll do:
- Learn key skills such as active listening, collaborative problem solving and crisis management
- Support texters through moments of crisis by responding to text messages on the platform in a non-judgmental way
- Help to roll out this new innovative service in Ireland
- Work alongside volunteers who are social workers, therapists and psychiatrists to sharpen your crisis volunteer skills
- We ask our Crisis Volunteers to commit to 4 hours per week and complete a total of 200 hours over the course of a year. Though of course, we hope you stay longer. It’s a big commitment, and one that people find incredibly rewarding.
If you are interested in joining us, apply to become a Crisis Volunteer at crisistextline.ie