Ever wanted to give back to your community in a meaningful and enriching way? Now is your chance. Volunteers are a vital part of Distress Centres. Every year, volunteers contribute more than 100,000 hours to our 24-hour distress and crisis lines, providing immediate access to help and support.
Requirements to be a Volunteer (peel region)
To ensure volunteers are fully equipped to effectively manage our various support lines, they are carefully screened and are required to complete comprehensive training before starting on the lines. We do not require any specific educational/professional qualifications, however there are certain criteria our volunteers are expected to meet:
At least 18 years of age
A kind and caring heart, patience, empathy and a desire to help those who are struggling in the community Compassionate and able to provide listening support without judging
Able to accept and respect differences of opinion, values, views and beliefs that may be different from your own
Able to complete 22 hours of in-class training, 20 hours of supplementary training materials (i.e., e-book, videos), 8 to 12 hours on-the-phones coaching
Able to commit to 16 hours per month (i.e. 100 hours in six months)
Agree to complete the police verification form given by Spectra Helpline, or submission of a recent police records check from a volunteer organization (i.e. within 6 months of validity period)
Agree to abide by and sign DCGT’s confidentiality agreement
Payment of a non-refundable training fee (may differ for Peel region training)
Volunteer Training Program - PEEL SITES
DCGT (Peel Sites) provide a comprehensive training program to all its volunteers. Our training prepares volunteers to handle both incoming calls and outgoing calls for our various programs and services. In-class training sessions take place year round and are delivered in eight 3-hour modules.
DCGT uses adult learning practices and incorporates lecture, role-play, scenarios, exercises and supplementary reading into our training program. Post in-class instruction, responders will receive between 8-12 hours of one-to-one on-the-line coaching. All training, coaching and reading assignments are mandatory. DCGT’s training prepares you for your volunteer role, and, is designed in such a way that all the skills learned and knowledge gained can be applied to your day-to-day life – personally and professionally.
Our curriculum includes:
Diversity and Cultural Competency
Abuse (including Elder Abuse)
Crisis and Suicide Assessment and Intervention
Mandatory supplementary readings are assigned for each module. Further, additional supplementary readings include the following topics: Parenting and postpartum; Grief, death and dying; and Violence.
Give back to the community
Help others, help themselves
Help those with mental health issues cope, and feel less stigmatized
Change peoples’ lives (including your own)
Save peoples’ lives
Learn About Your Community And Neighbours
Increase knowledge and understanding of prevalent issues and challenges faced by many in our community; developing greater social awareness
Improve your understanding of individual differences by being exposed to people of diverse backgrounds, cultures, races, ages, and abilities, etc.
Increase your awareness of the special needs and circumstances of others
Enhance your knowledge of community resources and services
Develop a stronger sense of belonging
Improve Interpersonal And Communication Skills
Develop new listening and communication skills you can use in all aspects of your life (i.e. both professionally and personally)
Increase your self-awareness
Improve your understanding of your own personal strengths, values and beliefs IMPROVE HOW YOU HANDLE CRISIS
Learn crisis/suicide assessment and intervention skills
Develop patience and an empathetic approach to dealing with those in crisis
Increase personal comfort level when interacting with those in crisis
Help Obtain Your Goals
Improve your resume
Support academic learning with real-life experience
Explore and clarify your goals, in terms of career/job/new experience
Have the opportunity to network and meet new people
Just re-read this list!