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Volunteer to be a Crisis Supporter

Thank you for your interest in volunteering. Our volunteers give their time, energy and expertise generously to achieve our Vision of an ‘Australia free of suicide', so that no person has to face their darkest moments alone. Lifeline is truly grateful for the support of our volunteers.

Learn More

There are two different ways you can volunteer as a Crisis Supporter

Phone Support

Purpose

Volunteers provide one-off crisis support over the phone to people who could benefit from immediate and short-term assistance to cope with crisis or distress.

Training

170 hours including approximately 80 hours of placement and internship over a 12-month period

Requirements

Be over the age of 18 and an Australian/New Zealand citizen or have a valid visa with no study restrictions

Police Check and Working with Children or Working with Vulnerable People Check relevant to your State/Territory

A student contribution towards the cost of the nationally accredited Crisis Support Workplace Training course. Lifeline centres subsidise the cost of training. To find out more, please contact your local Centre.

Accreditation

Accredited CHCSS00113 - Crisis Support Skill Set Training which includes a nationally recognised Statement of Attainment of 3 Units of Competency. The accredited crisis support training is delivered on behalf of Lifeline Australia RTO 88036 by the local Lifeline Centres

Location

Travel to your local centre

Time investment

Minimum 4 hrs per fortnight

Digital Support

Purpose

Volunteers provide one off crisis support to people via online Chat and Text (SMS) who could benefit from immediate and short-term assistance to cope with crisis or distress.

Training

40-50 hours of training over a 12-week period

Requirements

Be over the age of 18

Police Check and Working with Children or Working with Vulnerable People Check relevant to your State/Territory.

Training is free. No student contribution required.

Accreditation

Non-Accredited

Location

Work from home

Time investment

Minimum 4 hrs per fortnight

Our volunteers experience many benefits

  1. Developing new skills and experience for personal and professional growth
  2. The opportunity to help in people in crisis during their moment of need
  3. Becoming part of a community of like-minded caring people who want to make a difference
  4. Ability to communicate better with the people they care about
  5. Having a national impact
Crisis supporter portrait photo
When I volunteer it fills my bucket to know I have made a positive difference to someone who finds themselves in challenging times. It gives me purpose to know I am giving and making a difference.

The skills you need to be a volunteer Crisis Supporter

  1. Good listening skills
  2. Empathy, compassion & commitment
  3. A desire to make a positive difference
  4. Time and investment for your training
  5. A minimum of 4 hours per fortnight available to volunteer
  6. To complete a police check and Working with Children Check/Working with Vulnerable People Check (WWCC/WWVP) relevant to your state/territory. Please note that these checks are at your own cost

Today, nine Australians will lose their lives to suicide

You can help us change that. By becoming a Crisis Supporter you can offer hope to people in their darkest moments.

3500
HELP SEEKER INTERACTIONS
Over 3,500 calls, chat messages and texts from Australians in crisis every day
155
PEOPLE
Every day, our Crisis Supporters connect with more than 155 people having thoughts of suicide to create a plan together that will help keep them safe.
3000
VOLUNTEERS
More than 3,000 volunteers help us deliver life-saving support.

Get Started

Ready to start making a difference?

Frequently asked questions

Lifeline provides one-off crisis support to people who could benefit from immediate and short-term assistance to cope with crises or distress. Lifeline does not provide long-term or ongoing assistance.

Lifeline’s one-off service means that a crisis supporter will be unaware of what has taken place following their interaction with the help seeker. This includes when Lifeline escalates a situation to emergency services due to issues of risk. Due to these challenges and others, Lifeline places high importance on providing debriefing and supportive supervision to all staff and volunteers.
Help seekers contact Lifeline with a variety of issues and crisis situations. This may include relationship issues, loneliness, family concerns, substance issues, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, domestic and family violence situations, and child safety concerns. Crisis Supporters help to address a range of feelings including anxiety, depression, loneliness and disconnection.

All support services experience a small proportion of unwelcome interactions from people who are misusing the service to harass or intimidate. Debriefing and supervision play a pivotal role in seeking support during or after these often-challenging interactions.
No, the comprehensive training provided to our volunteer crisis supporters will ensure you are qualified to offer a high standard of crisis support that keeps people safe. We are looking for volunteers who are good listeners, empathetic, compassionate and committed to supporting others.
Yes, all volunteer roles require a National Police Check conducted by Lifeline and relevant state/territory Working with Children Check/Working with Vulnerable People Check. The associated fees for checks where required is at your own cost.
We find most people who volunteer with Lifeline as a volunteer crisis supporter find it very rewarding, knowing they are contributing to saving lives. Most of our volunteers contribute to the Lifeline community for years after completing training.  We ask our volunteer crisis supporters to commit to a minimum of 4 hours per fortnight.
Lifeline has 41 centres around Australia in regional, remote and metropolitan areas. We also offer the opportunity to volunteer online via our Digital text and online chat services.

To volunteer at your nearest Lifeline Centre or Lifeline shop, please contact your local Lifeline Centre to find out more about becoming a volunteer. Lifeline Locations
You will be assigned a Team Leader who will coach you throughout your training, placement and even once you are a fully trained Crisis Supporter. In addition, you will always have support while on shift, as one of our qualified In-Shift Supervisors will be there to ask questions, intervene where necessary and debrief with you when you finish your shift.
  • Make sure you understand the commitment involved in becoming a Crisis Supporter
  • Register your interest and/or attend an information session
  • Complete and submit your application (you will be asked to provide reference details, a Working with Children/ Vulnerable People Check and a Lifeline Police Check. Note that these checks are at your own cost).
  • Accept our offer to join the Lifeline family.
  • Join the next available training date (we will notify you of the date once you have accepted your offer)
When volunteering for the Lifeline Text Service, either a PC or Mac computer can be used, requiring the latest operating system available. The minimum system requirement for a Mac is macOS10.14 or later; and a free app to connect to the remote desktop, Microsoft Remote Desktop. For PC the suggested system requirement is an up-to-date version of Windows, general a computer less than 6 years old.
It is highly recommended to have two computer monitors/screens, to run the text platform on one monitor, and on the second monitor to runs Teams, the program that we use to communicate with each other on shift. If you don’t have two monitors, then having a smartphone on shift as a back-up is important so that you can keep in contact with your shift supervisor, in case you have problems with Teams. It is also good if you have a camera with your computer, so that during training and once volunteering, you are able to chat face to face with your team leader or shift supervisor.
Having a stable and reliable internet connection is very important when considering volunteering for the Lifeline Text Service. It is useful to know the upload and download speed of your internet, and this can be easily checked using any internet speed check tool.

If you have any problems with your internet, it is also possible to hotspot your phone and all programs needed will run smoothly as required.
We welcome all applicants considering becoming a Digital Crisis Supporter and due to the flexibility of the role can support a variety of accessibility needs. Please send us through an email if you have any specific questions.
Becoming a Digital Crisis Supporter is perfect for those living in regional/remote areas in Australia. You can be located anywhere Australia-wide as long as you have the appropriate computer equipment and a stable and reliable internet connection.

Unfortunately, due to our security requirements and IT systems, we are not able to accept overseas applicants.
To become a telephone volunteer crisis supporter for Lifeline's 24-hour Crisis Support service - 13 11 14 - you'll need to undertake extensive training, make a commitment to shifts, and meet further selection criteria. This is to ensure you'll be confident, skilled, and able to provide support to Lifeline's callers in their time of emotional distress and crisis. This is a very rewarding volunteer opportunity.
Lifeline has 41 centres around Australia in regional, remote and metropolitan areas.

To volunteer at your nearest Lifeline Centre or Lifeline shop, please contact your local Lifeline Centre to find out more about becoming a volunteer.
Crisis Supporter Workplace Training (CSWT) is a national recognised training course which is based on adult learning principles and experiential learning. Successful completion results in Accreditation as a Lifeline Crisis Supporter and obtaining a nationally recognised Statement of Attainment in:

  • CHCCCS003 Increase the safety of individuals at risk of suicide
  • CHCCCS019 Recognise and respond to crisis situations
  • CHCCCS028 Provide client-centred support to people in crisis

Lifeline is a Registered Training Organisation, Lifeline Australia RTO Code 88036. Lifeline centres subsidise the cost of the CSWT course, however a student contribution is required. 

Other ways to get involved

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