(Brieanna Charlebois - Morning Star)

Crisis line seeks volunteers

CMHA’s 40-hour training program starts in April.

The Vernon Crisis Line is looking for new volunteers. CMHA Vernon trains volunteers to answer calls from people in the community who are experiencing crisis.

In 2018, the Vernon site of the Interior Crisis Line Network provided support in over 6,284 calls. By answering the phone and providing an empathetic ear, volunteers can help change people’s lives. They will learn to offer emotional support, help find referrals and can offer emergency services where necessary.

The Crisis Line offers 40+ hours of training time to ensure that volunteers are properly trained and confident to take calls from the Crisis Line, Mental Health Support Line and 1800 Suicide before answering the line.

The next training session will take place over two weekends and an evening. Once training is complete CMHA offers flexible scheduling — the crisis line is a 24/7 service — but asks volunteers to commit to volunteering about four hours per week. Volunteers must be over 18 years of age.

This experience could be invaluable to people who are working toward a career in any of the helping professions, or anyone wanting to support people in their community in this valuable way. Training starts Saturday, April 27.

If interested, please contact Paula Guidi at paula.guidi@cmha.bc.ca or by phone 250-542-3114 ext. 236 or complete the application online at vernon.cmha.bc.ca.

Related: Vernon Crisis Hotline calls for volunteers

Related: Winter months mean more calls for Vernon’s crisis line

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