Volunteer For The 24-Hour Crisis Line & Crisis Chat

Check our online calendar to find out when the next volunteer application deadlines are.

On the Other Side of Crisis

Are you the one everyone turns to when they need someone to listen? Are you open-minded, compassionate and dependable? Can you commit to working the same shift every week for a minimum of 3 – 4 months? Then becoming a Crisis Intervention volunteer may be for you.

Fully staffing the 24-Hour Crisis Line and our Crisis Chat online service requires more than 100 Crisis Intervention volunteers, who come from an amazing diversity of backgrounds – teachers, business professionals, nurses, writers, computer experts, clergy, and much more. Many are undergraduate or graduate students preparing for careers in counseling, social work, public health or related fields. You must be at least 18 years old to volunteer in the Crisis Intervention program and be available to volunteer for the next nine months.

Comprehensive Training to Prepare You

The Crisis Intervention program offers an extensive training process, described by current volunteers as “excellent” and “top-notch,” that includes both classroom sessions and mentoring. You’ll learn a wide variety of counseling techniques, such as active listening and lethality assessment, and then observe seasoned volunteers using those very skills on the phone with actual callers. Training is designed to ensure you feel prepared and confident helping anyone who calls the 24-Hour Crisis Line.

Training sessions typically begin in February, June and September. Spring and fall trainings are held one night each week for eight weeks plus one weekend, with mentoring shifts on the 24-Hour Crisis Line scheduled at your convenience. The summer session is often condensed into several full days of classroom time plus regular mentoring shifts.

Becoming a Crisis Chat specialist requires the completion of the entire CI training program described above, plus an additional Crisis Chat component and mentoring. You'll learn best practices for offering counseling services via instant message conversations.

Becoming a Volunteer

To become a Crisis Intervention volunteer, you must first complete a Volunteer Application which includes a national criminal background check (traffic violations or non-violent convictions will not disqualify you from volunteering). The 3-page application can be faxed to (319) 351-5671 or mailed to:

      The Crisis Center of Johnson County
      ATTN: Volunteer Services
      1121 Gilbert Court
      Iowa City IA 52245-4528

Please consider enclosing a $8.50 donation to cover The Crisis Center's cost for completing the background check. After the application is received, you will be contacted to schedule an interview.

If you have any questions about the Crisis Intervention program or becoming a CI volunteer, please contact Beau Pinkham at (319) 351-2726 ext. 102 or via email at beau.pinkham@jccrisiscenter.org.

Internship/Practicum Opportunities

The Crisis Center can also facilitate unpaid internships and practicum experiences in the Crisis Intervention program under the direction of a licensed master social worker. Those majoring in social work or any other field are welcome to apply. To inquire about an internship or practicum, contact Keri Neblett, LMSW, via email at keri.neblett@jccrisiscenter.org or by phone at (319) 351-2726 ext. 114.