VIA LINK 2-1-1 offers volunteer and internship opportunities for college level students and individuals in the helping professions looking for community involvement. VIA LINK 2-1-1 relies on the support of dedicated volunteers/interns to keep our hotlines fully staffed. Our volunteers/interns provide free, short-term crisis counseling and referrals for Helpline 2-1-1, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and our Crisis Teen Textline.
What are the benefits of becoming a volunteer/intern at VIA LINK 2-1-1?
- Expand knowledge of social services in the communities served
- Enhance advanced communication skills
- Develop valuable crisis intervention skills
- Strengthen professional identity and self-awareness
- Expand professional networking
What are the requirements to become a volunteer/intern
VIA LINK 2-1-1 requires that applicants for our training programs meet the following criteria:
- Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and have completed at least one year of college.
- Employment, internship, and/or volunteering experiences in certain helping professions will also be considered.
- Provide an updated resume.
- Provide three professional references for contact.
Full Crisis Hotline Training - There are four phases in the VIA LINK Hotline Counselor Training program totaling approximately 60 hours of training. In order to become a Hotline Counselor, each trainee must fully participate in all four phases. Crisis Hotline Counselors answer the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Helpline 2-1-1, and have the option of working on the Crisis Teen Textline.
Helpline 2-1-1 Training - Volunteers/Interns have the option of becoming Information & Referral Specialists, answering only Helpline 2-1-1. I&R Specialists will become familiar with VIA LINK’s resource database of over three thousand local non-profits and community organizations within VIA LINK’s ten parish service area while providing information and referrals to callers in need. I&R Specialists will also assist in the expansion of VIA LINK’ resource and information databases. The Helpline 2-1-1 Training is approximately 20 hours of training, including three phases. In order to become a Hotline Counselor, each trainee must fully participate in all three phases.
Crisis Teen Textline Training - Volunteers/interns have the option of working exclusively on VIA LINK’s Crisis Teen Textline as a Crisis Textline Counselor. Textline Counselors handle incoming texts from youth within VIA LINK’s service area, while receiving training on youth-specific special issues, such as bullying. Volunteer Crisis Textline Counselors will complete approximately 16 hours of training in two phases. After working on the textline for at least a month, Textline Counselors will have the option of working set shifts at home on the textline, provided that they have a secure internet connection and a private space to work.
- Mental Health
- People Skills
- Crisis Counseling
- Relationship Building
- Verbal / Written Communication
Good Match For
People 55+ Group
Requirements & Commitment
- Must be at least 18
- Orientation or Training
- 60 hour training
- 150 hour volunteer commitment required