Volunteer with Hey Sam

Reasons to Volunteer

You can be the caring listener on the other end of the line when someone texts Hey Sam.

Get training on befriending and providing crisis support.

Join a supportive community of peers.

Build lifelong skills.


Research and experience tells us that youth are more likely to open up to peers than adults, and that peer-to-peer support can be a helpful resource for young people when they are struggling.


Suicide is a leading cause of death for young people 15-24 years old.


Since the launch of Hey Sam in March 2022, we have helped thousands of young people feel heard.

Becoming a volunteer on the Hey Sam textline

We are looking for volunteers who…

  • Are 15-24 years old
  • Are passionate about mental health
  • Are located anywhere in the world—training and volunteering are entirely remote!

Things to know about volunteering with Hey Sam:

Any Hey Sam volunteers who are in high school will complete one 3-hour shift per week (this shift cannot go past 9 pm in your time zone.)

Any Hey Sam volunteers who are out of high school will complete one 4-hour shift per week.

All our trainings and meetings are in Eastern Time (ET).


Who volunteers on the Hey Sam textline?

Anyone aged 15-24 who undergoes Hey Sam training. Although Hey Sam is based in Massachusetts, all our training and volunteering is done remotely, so you can be based almost anywhere and still volunteer with us!

What hours am I able to volunteer?

Volunteers in high school can take a shift on the textline from 9am-9pm ET and volunteers out of high school can take a shift on the textline from 9am-midnight ET.  

Volunteers in high school are not able to schedule their regular shift on the textline past 9pm in their time zone. 

Do I have to interview to become a volunteer?

Yes, there is an interview process before going to the training.

This interview ensures we are a good match for each other and gives you an opportunity to ask questions.

What does a regular volunteer shift on the textline look like?

How busy a shift is varies depending on the time of day that you are shifting and depending on how many other volunteers are on at the same time. Generally, volunteers take 1-3 texts during a typical shift. 

You’ll check in and out at the beginning and end of your shift with your Shift Supervisor, and you will be able to contact your Shift Supervisor and other Hey Sam texters on shift if you have any questions as you are volunteering. 

What kind of prior experience do I need in order to volunteer on the Hey Sam textline?

No prior experience is needed! You’ll be trained and have the opportunity for plenty of practice before you begin shifting.

Can my hours be verified for community service / other volunteer requirements?

If your school accepts Hey Sam volunteering as a fulfillment of the requirement, Hey Sam will be happy to fill out any required forms. Be sure to keep in mind that once you sign up to volunteer with Hey Sam, there is a minimum number of volunteering hours you must complete, unrelated to any volunteering requirements your school may have. 

Also, please always confirm with the Hey Sam staff beforehand whether they will be able to verify your volunteer hours, as some schools may require supervision and/or information that we are unable to provide. 

What kind of support is available and provided to volunteers?

Every shift has a Shift Supervisor who is ready to give you needed support. Besides that, we have the Hey Sam staff and fellow volunteers who you can contact as well. 

Samaritans staff are on-call 24/7 to support high risk conversations.

What is the time commitment?

Volunteers commit to completing a 40-hour training which consists of online learning modules, live Zoom sessions with a training cohort, and shifts on the textline with an experienced Hey Sam mentor.  

Once on the textline, volunteers in high school complete one 3-hour regular shift per week and volunteers out of high school complete one 4-hour regular shift per week.  

Volunteers in high school are asked to complete at least 150 hours of volunteer work and volunteers out of high school are asked to complete at least 200 hours of volunteer work. This is approximately a 12-month commitment to volunteering on the Hey Sam textline.  

What sorts of conversations will I have?

Since Hey Sam is a mental health textline, there are a wide range of topics that can come up in conversations, including loneliness, grief, suicidal ideation, and much more. However, Hey Sam does not tolerate insulting or inappropriate texts, and volunteers are trained how to manage inappropriate text conversations. 

How many people volunteer at a time?

It can vary, but usually there are at least a couple of Hey Sam volunteers on the line at once! 

Volunteer with Hey Sam

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Hey Sam volunteer! Please complete this inquiry form to begin your application. Once submitted, you will receive an email with more information and the full application.

If you have any questions, please reach out to [email protected].

Honestly, out of all my extracurriculars that I do, it’s just the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had.

Hey Sam Volunteer

Connect with Hey Sam