Expectations - Yours and Ours 

Who We Are

Crisis Text Line is a national not-for-profit organization that supports people in crisis, all by text. Our goal is to move texters from a “hot moment” to a “cool calm,” and create a safety plan with them—so they have the tools they need to feel their best. Our texters are on their phones; our Crisis Counselors volunteer from their computers at home.

Who You Are

You’re kind. You’re a great listener. You’re passionate about supporting people in crisis. You’re open-minded. And you’re dedicated! Sound like you? Great! You’ll make an awesome Crisis Counselor.

What Training Involves

  • Support: You’ll be assigned to a Coach who will guide you through the entire process. They’re your go-to person for all the things.
  • Committing: Complete 30 hours of training over either 6 weeks or 15 days depending on the cohort style you select. We offer traditional courses that allow 6 weeks for completion and accelerated courses that cover the same material in 15 days. Once you've been accepted you'll be able to see upcoming training dates and you can select the course that works best for you.
  • Learning: Our lessons can be accessed 24/7.
  • Practicing: You’ll do roleplays and other assignments to develop your skills.
After you pass the assignments and take your first shift, you’re officially a Crisis Counselor!

What Volunteering Involves
  • Weekly shifts. Our volunteers complete a weekly shift of 4 hours (as a 4-hour shift or two 2-hour shifts), working towards 200 hours total.
  • Night shifts. Our volunteers complete at least one shift per month at night (between the hours of 8pm and 4am), this is the time when texters most need our service.
  • Supervision. Our supervisors will be with you for every shift.
  • Community. Get to know other volunteers on the platform, in our online community, offline events and more.
Dealbreakers. We cannot accept you if you:

  • Are under 18.
  • Don’t consent to a garda vetting.
  • Refuse to help a texter for any ideological reason (e.g., a texter is coming out as gay, is considering an abortion, etc.).
  • Would be triggered by topics frequently discussed with texters (suicide, self-harm, depression, etc.) to the point that you cannot maintain your own mental health.
  • Can’t commit to the 30-hour training over the next four months.
  • Can’t commit to 200 total hours of volunteering.
  • Can't commit to one night shift a month.
  • Don’t have a reliable internet connection and a private place to take your shift.

One last thing...

Training is absolutely free, but know that it costs the organisation €900 to train one person! You can help bring that cost down by seeing training through to the end and serving the 200 volunteer hours.
Ready? Fantastic! Hit "Next Page" to start telling us all about you.

Volunteer Requirements   


Technology Requirement
We want to make sure the commitment our volunteers make is clear from the get-go

Garda Vetting

Every volunteer is required to undergo vetting by An Garda Siochana. This is for both our texters’ safety and yours.

Commitment to Training

Acceptance into our training program does expire after four months (meaning you would have two opportunities to start and complete our six-week training). Should you be unable to complete training within that four-month period, you will need to reapply.

Training is a full course that involves studying material, completing assignments, and developing skills—all of which takes time.

Commitment to Volunteering

Training is a big investment—by you and by us. Because we invest so much in you, we require volunteers to commit to 200 hours of volunteer work. We recommend that you do 4 hours weekly, but you can do between 2-12 hours per week.

  • You will be able to schedule time in either four-hour or two-hour shift blocks, and take at least one four hour shift at night each month.
  • Weekly shifts are recurring (i.e., every Monday from 7-11 pm) so you can build this time into your schedule and really get to know your peers on the platform - we recommend this when possible.
  • One time shifts are just that, a one time shift for a specific date and time (i.e. April 15th 8-10 am).
  • Bottom line, we know life happens (and holidays, too!). We're flexible when the situation calls for it.

What time of day are you planning to volunteer? Please select your three ideal start times below. (i.e. What time of the day would you like your volunteer shift to start):

Helping Our Texters

We greet every texter in a nonjudgmental, welcoming way. A Crisis Counselor cannot control which texters they talk to, so it’s imperative that they be comfortable and ready to talk about anything with anyone.

These questions will help you reflect more about our texters (and help you double-check that you can bring that unconditional positive regard to any conversation.)

Family Planning Questions

Crisis Text Line believes in supporting texters in making choices that are best for them. This might mean discussing birth control and abortion and possibly, directing a texter to a local clinic. Your answers to the questions below help us to know that you’re on board in doing so.

LGBTQI+ Questions

Crisis Text Line believes in supporting texters in living their true identities. This might mean discussing LGBTQI+ related issues with a texter. Your answers to the questions below help us to know that you’re on board in doing so.

Religious Questions

Crisis Text Line believes in supporting texters in making choices that are best for them. This might mean conversing with texters who are devoutly religious. Your answers to the questions below help us to know that you’re on board in doing so.

Crimes Committed by and Against Our Texters

Our texters often include victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, or other crimes. We respect the choice of any texter to not report the crime or seek medical attention. The only exceptions are:

  • When someone is at risk of imminent death
  • In cases of mandatory reporting such as child abuse or neglect.

We also receive messages from texters who have committed a violent act or other crime. They are often struggling with guilt and trying to figure out what they should do. As a crisis line, it is our responsibility to welcome each texter in a nonjudgmental fashion and support them (not direct them) as they determine their next steps.

Mandatory Reporting

Crisis Text Line staff are mandated reporters. If we suspect a minor is being abused or neglected, we explain to them that we’re legally required to notify the appropriate state agency.


Our texters are primarily English-speaking. And everything we do is by text, so a strong understanding of English grammar and tone is crucial.


We take our texters’ privacy very seriously. Unless intervention is warranted (i.e., a suicide attempt is in progress), we do not share any personally identifying information about our texters with anyone.


At Crisis Text Line, we focus on empowering our texters. Rather than share what we think they “should” do, we guide them to focus on what they feel will help. This helps them recognize their own problem-solving abilities so they feel equipped to handle a future crisis.

Helping Yourself
This work is incredibly rewarding but it’s also challenging—we talk about some heavy subjects. Want to know more about what topics texters bring up? Or how frequently certain issues like suicide are discussed? Check out our data.

Please write at least 5 sentences.

Aside from helping others, volunteering also usually does something for the volunteer (sense of accomplishment, improving skills, getting school credit).


Many people work with therapists or counselors for a variety of reasons. And from our own data, these folks are strong Crisis Counselors.

A big part of training is growth. Trainers give feedback to help our future Crisis Counselors hone their skills.

Our data shows that people who have been through a crisis can make great Crisis Counselors. But because we do talk about suicide, self-harm, and many other serious topics daily, we’d like to know which topics might be especially difficult for you. Knowing this means we can better support you.

WARNING: The work that Crisis Counselors do, both during training and on the platform, can trigger strong emotions for people with a history of physical or mental health issues such as abuse or suicidal thoughts. We want to remind you that self-care is extremely important to us at Crisis Text Line.

You and Empathy

Below are several statements that will help gauge your level of empathy. Please take a moment to consider each one and answer thoughtfully. For each statement, indicate how well they describe you on a scale of 1–5.

How Would You Respond?

These are five examples of messages you might see on the platform. This exercise is to give you an idea of what to expect and help you gauge your own emotional preparedness for this work. You won't be evaluated on your responses here, so just give it your best shot! 

Tell Us About Yourself!

We are always looking to improve our systems to accommodate screen readers.
What is your postal address?
We like to send you stuff sometimes!

We like to send swag from time to time—think anniversaries and holidays! 

Last Page - A Few Final Details!


You’re almost done! Before your application can be reviewed, we need to hear from at least two references. You can fill in up to five references here to help move your application along faster, but only the first two are required.

Your references must be individuals who have supervised you in some way (manager, teacher, lecturer, youth worker, community leader, etc.).

After you submit their information below, they will receive an email linking them to a short form they can fill out and submit. Please let them know to look for this form so it doesn’t get missed.

Reference 1

Reference 2

Reference 3

Data Protection Compliance

And Finally...