Volunteer for Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services
Whether one hour or twenty, the commitment to service that volunteers make are important to Didi Hirsch’s clients and staff. Volunteers are always welcome at Didi Hirsch; they help us achieve our mission to provide quality mental health and substance use services to people in need.
If you are interested in volunteering seasonally or on a case-by-case basis by doing administrative work, teaching classes, facilitating activities, participating in fundraising efforts, or providing childcare, please complete a Volunteer Application and send it to Lorenza Loza (email@example.com) or call (310) 751-5353.
Volunteer for the Suicide Prevention Center
Our Suicide Prevention Center needs your help to staff its 24/7 Crisis Line as a volunteer Crisis Counselor! This role is one of the most intensely rewarding ways to contribute to your community while helping to erase the stigma around suicide and mental health. Many of our volunteers are pursuing careers in the mental health field or considering a career change before applying to graduate school, while others are looking for something meaningful to do in their spare time. Some have been touched by suicide. Others just want to help people in crisis.
- Must be over the age of 21
- Basic computer competency required
- Fluency in English; bilingual in others languages helpful, but not required
- Ability to attend the 6-week training and ASIST workshop in person at our Century City site
- Ability to commit to a weekly 4-hour shift for 12 months at our Century City site
- No prior experience in mental health required
Due to the nature of our work, we encourage applicants who have experienced suicide firsthand or through a loved one to seek support first before applying.
Training Requirements: Our training is time-intensive in order to ensure that our volunteers are ready when they start on the Crisis Line. Trainees are expected to complete all of the following:
- Crisis Counselor Training: Occurs on 6 consecutive Saturdays from 9AM-3:30PM (once a year, Tuesday and Thursday evening trainings are offered instead of Saturdays). Trainees learn to facilitate crisis calls/chats by learning evidence-based approaches to suicide prevention and by facilitating role-plays with experienced trainers and volunteers.
- ASIST: An additional 2-day weekend workshop called ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) is also required. This evidence-based training model was developed by LivingWorks and is complementary to our own Crisis Counselor training.
- DDH Training: Trainees are also expected to complete an 8-10 hour online training on their own time for the Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH). We are one of 3 centers in the U.S. that takes calls related to human-made and natural disasters.
Trainees who successfully pass all training requirements will be offered a weekly 4-hour shift at our Century City site. The following are examples of shifts: 8:30AM-12:30PM, 10:30AM-2:30PM, 12:30PM-4:30PM, 2:30PM-6:30PM, 4:30PM-8:30PM, 6:30PM-10:30PM, 8:30PM-12:30AM. However, shift availability fluctuates based on the needs of the Crisis Line.
During the first 3 months of volunteering (called “apprenticeship”), Trainees are closely monitored on their shifts and given substantial support. Help is always available and at no time are Crisis Counselors left alone with a call/chat. Volunteers do not take calls/chats from anywhere outside of the Crisis Line room.
BBS Hours: The Suicide Prevention Center does not currently offer supervision for intern hours.
Application Process: To obtain more details and apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (424) 362-2920. We will send you application materials and begin the screening process, which includes an initial phone interview and in-person interview prior to acceptance into the training class. Please note that as this is a competitive volunteership with limited training space, we are unfortunately unable to accept every applicant.