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multilingual distress line volunteering (Peel and scarborough)

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.

Under the supervision of professional staff, all volunteers are carefully screened and fully trained prior to taking calls or working with callers, program participants or survivors of loss. Volunteers also receive ongoing professional support and in-service education sessions. Experienced volunteers learn many life and communication skills which enable them to function more effectively in other aspects of their lives.

Requirements to be a Volunteer with our Multilingual Lines

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)


Special Language Skills Needed

DCGT provides our programs and services in 7 languages other than English. Currently we are seeking volunteers who can understand and speak fluently in the following languages:

CantoneseMandarinPortugueseSpanishHindiPunjabi and Urdu.


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:

  • Active Listening

  • Values

  • Diversity and Cultural Competency

  • Sexuality (LGBTQ)

  • Mental Health

  • Addiction

  • Anger

  • Abuse (including Elder Abuse)

  • Crisis and Suicide Assessment and Intervention

  • Self-Care

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.

Help Others

  • 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

Feel Good

  • Just re-read this list!