Become a Warm Line Volunteer!
Warm Line Volunteers are the core of our call center team, and our work wouldn't be possible without them! We're seeking people with personal lived experience of mental health challenges to join our diverse, compassionate, and multi-talented team of Volunteers who can be there for callers and chat visitors seeking support and connection.
Volunteers are what make the Warm Line a warm and welcoming place. Volunteers answer calls, chat with our instant messaging guests, help people find information about mental health resources, and share their own lived experience of mental health challenges to help build trust and hope. Our Volunteers recognize that peer-to-peer connections are powerful and that being heard can have a profound impact on people's lives.
The Warm Line is a phone and instant messaging-based service that provides information, referrals, and emotional support to the San Francisco Bay Area community. Our goal is to offer accessible, relevant, nonjudgmental peer support to anyone who reaches out to us, regardless of how big or small the need. We believe that having readily-available access to support and human connection in the moment helps people avoid getting to a crisis point later.
Since 2014, our Warm Line peer counselors have taken over 95,000 calls and chats from people of all walks of life.
As a Warm Line Volunteer, you will gain on-the-job experience in the mental health and nonprofit fields, build peer support skills through our extensive training program, learn more about other local resources and community-based organizations, and help our callers and chat visitors feel heard, understood, and cared about by someone who has also been there. For volunteers who meet time commitment expectations, we're also happy to provide references and letters of recommendation.
Our callers and chat visitors trust that someone will be there when they contact the Warm Line. We depend on Volunteers to be reliable, punctual, and dedicated to their work. Specifically, we ask volunteers to commit to:
- Volunteering with the Warm Line for at least 6 months
- Working at least one 4-hour shift per week
- Attending periodic group meetings
We love providing references and letters of recommendation for our volunteers after the minimum time commitment is completed.
(We have high expectations of our Volunteers, but the role is highly rewarding for those who can make the commitment!)
Key Volunteer Responsibilities
- Answer calls and instant messages
- Use our online resource database to find helpful referrals
- Use active listening and peer counseling skills
- Share personal lived experience with callers
- Record notes and demographic information about calls
- Collaborate with other volunteers and staff
- Respond to crisis situations according to Warm Line procedures
- Help keep the call center space clean and organized
All Warm Line Volunteers complete extensive training:
- 36 hours of classroom training prior to taking calls
- At least 2 shadow shifts with a peer mentor prior to taking calls
- Ongoing peer mentorship and continuing education training
Key Skills & Abilities Needed
- Personal, lived experience of mental health challenges and willingness to discuss these experiences with callers and chat visitors
- Love for talking with people and making connections
- Patience and a nonjudgmental approach to mental health and diversity
- Understanding of peer support and active listening
- Typing and computer skills, and ability to use a multi-line phone system
- Organization, focus, and attention to detail
- Experience with keeping confidentiality
- Calm in stressful situations
- Ability to de-escalate conflicts
- Commitment to MHASF's mission and values
How to Apply
Apply to become a Warm Line Volunteer today! You can fill out our convenient online application by clicking the button to the right.
You can also download a copy of the volunteer position description and fillable PDF application form, and follow the instructions for sending your application via email.
Drop us a line at our Warm Line volunteer inbox, [email protected]. We may not be able to respond to all inquiries, but we'll do our best to try!