empathetic crisis

Partnering with PVRIS & Crisis Text Line
On PVRIS’ latest U.S. tour, fans across the country got the experience to volunteer at shows spreading the word about Crisis Text Line and how to become a Counselor. Through The Ally Coalition’s partnership with PVRIS and Crisis Text Line, over 30,000 fans in 12 states have been exposed to information about the organization. Are you interested in what it’s like to be a Crisis Text Line Counselor or do you want more information about the service? Read on.

What is Crisis Text Line?
Crisis Text Line offers free 24/7 crisis support though text messages. “It is a common misconception that it is only for suicide of young people. Really it’s for anyone of any age dealing with any mental health crisis” says Liz Eddy from Crisis Text Line. Since the service’s launch in August of 2013, they have processed over 50 million messages. Crisis Text Line is currently being used in all 295 area codes in the United States and has plans to expand internationally.

If I sign up to become a Crisis Text Line Counselor, what’s next?
After you pass all necessary background checks, you then join the online training. Online training is a combination of modules, videos, observations, and role plays that get you all the information you need. Training also grooms reflective listening, collaborative problem solving skills, and crisis management. This is your opportunity to practice with professionals who review and give feedback. Every Crisis Counselor has a coach, who is like a guidance counselor there for debriefing, feedback, and helping you through the whole process.

What does the time volunteering as a Crisis Text Line Counselor look like?
You are required to volunteer 200 hours, which can be broken up however you’d like. The most common preference is 2 hours shifts at regular times that work best for you. When you’re on the platform, you’re really focused on working with texters and you have a supervisor who is a mental health supervisor to oversee all of your conversations and to support you. Through being a Crisis Counselor, you are able to save lives volunteering from your own home.

What are the benefits of being a Crisis Text Line Counselor?
“Even though you’re volunteering online, potentially from home, you’re connecting with thousands of people all over that also really care about helping others” says Eddy. Aside from the work you’re doing to help save lives, the community you join is a gigantic part of the benefits. Crisis Counselors come from a wide array of backgrounds. Some volunteers are veterans, single parents or college students, and other volunteers have different types of disabilities, chronic illnesses, or are deaf. Being a Crisis Counselor is an amazing opportunity for people that might not be able to participate in more traditional volunteer activities. Once you’re a Crisis Counselor, you’re part of a community that supports you.

Thinking about becoming a Crisis Text Line Counselor?
“It’s so much bigger than yourself” says Eddy. By becoming a Crisis Counselor, you’re not only saving lives but you’re joining a global community of empathetic people. Crisis Text Line can be so much more than a volunteer project as it can help practice empathy and can be the first step in becoming a better listener, a better friend, and a better employee.

Want to sign up or learn even more?
Visit CrisisTextLine.org/Volunteer to view Crisis Text Line’s services or apply to be a Crisis Counselor now.