Volunteer on the Helpline

Be the Support Someone Needs

Each day, people who struggle with loneliness, depression, or suicidal feelings turn to Samaritans’ 24/7 Helpline for nonjudgmental support. On the other side of a phone call or text message, they find a caring listener ready to provide compassion. You can be that caring listener!

Our Impact in 2020

300+

Helpline volunteers

29,446

hours
volunteered

80,425

calls, texts, and chats answered

Volunteer Opportunities

We have a variety of volunteer opportunities on our Helpline. Volunteers include teens (15+), students, working adults, and retirees. You don’t need to worry about having any prior training. All we ask is that you:

  • Connect with our mission of suicide prevention through compassionate listening
  • Follow our model of not giving advice or offering your opinion
  • Provide a safe and nonjudgmental place for our callers and texters to share
  • Practice open and honest communication
  • Have basic computer skills

An older man talking on the phone in front of his computer.

Nine-Month Commitment

The most popular volunteer opportunity we have is our full commitment. We ask our volunteers to commit to volunteering for 200 hours (adults) and 150 hours (teens) over nine months. Adult volunteers must complete one four-hour shift every week and one overnight shift per month. Teen volunteers must complete one three-hour shift every week, but do not have a required overnight shift.

Internships

If you are a student looking for an internship for school, we have the capacity for Helpline interns! Most interns spend the course of an academic year shifting on the Helpline for two four-hour shifts each week and one overnight shift each month. Depending on the requirements from your school, we will assign a staff supervisor who will work with you as you grow!

4 women sitting around a table working on paperwork.
A woman on the phone looking at her computer screen.

Accelerated Summer Commitment

There are a handful of people interested in volunteering who don’t have the ability to make a nine-month commitment. If that is the case, our accelerated summer volunteer opportunity might be a better fit for you. We ask our accelerated summer volunteers to complete 150 hours on the Helpline over the span of three to four months and complete two overnights shift a month.

Remote Volunteering

Volunteer from your home, no matter where home is! Remote volunteering requires access to:

  • A computer (we recommend a PC or Mac)
  • A headset or headphones with microphone
  • Reliable internet
  • A quiet, confidential space
  • Cell phone

A group photo on Zoom.
A group of children sitting on the stairs posing for a group portrait.

Apply to Volunteer on the 24/7 Helpline

Few things can be as rewarding as knowing that you were there when someone needed you most. The more trained volunteers we have, the more people we can serve.  Please complete the volunteer inquiry form and we will contact you with information about training availability.

We are currently not recruiting for prospective volunteers who can only do shifts from 7pm-11pm on weeknights.

“To me, being a Samaritans volunteer means being supportive, authentic, and comforting for individuals who are hurting in the community. The opportunity allows for an avenue to connect with people in meaningful ways, which feels more important than ever right now. I am inspired by the vulnerability and openness of callers and texters, and try to take those lessons into my everyday life!”

Adrienne

helpline volunteer

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