Help Us Create A More Equitable Health System

We've partnered with The Color of Care documentary from Executive Producer Oprah Winfrey -- streaming now on the Smithsonian Channel. Learn more below and find ways to get involved today.
Read More


Cause Area

  • Advocacy & Human Rights
  • Crisis Support
  • Health & Medicine
  • LGBTQ+
  • Veterans & Military Families


PO Box 106Chester, MD 21619 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

IMAlive is the world's first virtual crisis center with 100% of its volunteers trained and certified in crisis intervention and suicide prevention. Our goal is to use the power of Internet to provide crisis intervention, emotional support and resources to people in crisis online via chat.

Description, world's first virtual crisis center, was launched in April 2011, and has welcomed volunteers from all over the world. To provide online support volunteers take a 10-hour video training course, spend approximately 10-20 hours improving their crisis intervention skills online with IMALIVE trainers, and pass an online exam with a qualified mental health professional. Our volunteers are always supported by experienced supervisors.

IMAlive volunteers are a unique group of dedicated individuals with a common mission - to provide empathic and non-judgemental support when chat visitors need it most. It is a one of a kind crisis center which provides a rewarding volunteer experience from the comfort of your home.


Would you recommend IMAlive?
20 reviews Write a review
by thalia s. from ID (August 12, 2018)
I believe that what this otganization has the right idea and the best of intentions. It's always great to help out.
by Sri S. (June 3, 2018)
I became a volunteer for IMAlive late last year. They have an amazing training program that teaches you how to empathize with different people and different situations. I've been a volunteer for a few months and I can honestly say I've met the most amazing supervisors and other volunteers who are so caring and truly want to help other people.
by Abhiruchi J. (May 23, 2017)
IMAlive has a wonderful training program that helps volunteers understand the right way to empathize and the importance of using non-stigmatized language with the people in crisis. The IMAlive family has very compassionate volunteers and people who genuinely care and make time to help make a difference in the world. Our outreach is global (we get calls from literally every corner of the world) and we have volunteers available to take the calls 24x7. The supervisors are very resourceful and great guides throughout the training process. Each and everyone is very invested and is giving their 110% to helping the community.
by Jane S. (January 30, 2017)
I am a volunteer at ImAlive and have nearly 100 hours now of time spent in text chat with people in crisis who come to us for help. First, I have to say that I was very impressed with the training I received at the start of my time with this organization. I have zero experience in the field of psychology or other intervention programs so I came to them with a desire to help and a lifetime of experience but not much else. I was very worried that I would not be able to actually work on live chats and know how to talk to people to really help them, but the training gives you a wonderful foundation to start from. The best part, though, is that the training and support does not stop there. When you do start doing calls, you have a supervisor with you at all times helping when you need it as a guide and they do a WONDERFUL job of supporting you when you ask. Volunteering here is one of the most rewarding experiences of my adult life.
by Amaris O. from CA (May 16, 2016)
I only understood the monumental importance of kindness and empathy through my work with IMAlive, especially when it is offered to someone who feels they have no one by their side. To be that someone is an honour. As volunteers we are not alone either; the warmth and kindness that the supervisors extend towards help us grow better and better. And with every chat you take, you help by just being there. What IMAlive does is incredibly important and there's no greater feeling than being a part of it. It is an honour to work for IMAlive.
by Bryanna L. (September 28, 2015)
I can't even begin to say how rewarding it is to volunteer at IMAlive. As a Crisis Responder, you support visitors at crucial moments in their life, when they feel like there is nowhere else to turn. You don't have to have a background in mental health to volunteer - just a desire to help others and a willingness to learn. Volunteers train at their own pace, and the team of supervisors make sure that you feel comfortable and supported. Shift times are flexible and cater to a busy schedule. You also learn skills that can carry over in daily life (like ways to be a better listener). Not only do you get to help others, but you grow in the process. So, come join us and help save lives! :)
by Moshe M. (July 6, 2015)
ImAlive is run by an extremely caring and competent staff of supervisors and volunteers. The training is thorough and teaches how to feel and express empathy and offer support in a way that enables each individual responder to speak from the heart rather than simply read a script. However, if you do get stuck, a supervisor is always at hand to make some suggestions. The vast majority of callers in crisis respond positively, even very positively, to this caring, non-judgmental and thoughtful approach. For many people in crisis it may be the first time that they feel heard and understood. It is literally a life-saver.
by Joe F. (January 13, 2015)
Imalive is a terrific resource for people in crisis. It's a place they can go, for free, no appointment necessary, and get the help they need. As a volunteer, you can make a difference in these people's lives. You can help people who are going through difficult times. People who need help more than they've ever needed it. Can you think of a better way to make an impact through volunteering? The training you'll receive is thorough, well structured, and extremely interesting. You will be trained, and brought along gradually at your own pace. While actually working, a supervisor will be available to help you if you need it. If you're on this site, you are already a person who is willing to make a commitment to helping people. If you want to learn, be challenged, and be able to help those who truly need it, come join us.
by Edna G. from Los Angeles, CA (January 12, 2015)
Through my volunteer experience I've come to meet people that (though cliche) really care. They put in so much work, stay up late, wake up early, volunteer their time to train others, all to help people during a crisis. This experience is not for the weak. Every single person doing this is making a difference and I don't think I can even put in words how amazing, surreal and rewarding this journey has been.
by Kelly G. (January 12, 2015)
This charity is incredible. The dedication of the other volunteers and Reese is truly humbling. The training is thorough and challenging but really prepares a person to respond to the diverse population that we are put in touch with. The training has enhanced my life and so has the work with the crisis chat lines. I know that the resource has helped so many other people too.
by Adrianne G. (May 20, 2014)
There is nothing more important that one can do than to help save a life. IMAlive provides you with all the tools you need to call yourself a Crisis Intervention Specialist and to provide hope to others anywhere across the country(and sometimes even outside of the US!) Sure, raising funds can take some time and the training is intense. Ultimately, it is a big commitment to volunteer with IMAlive, but it is so worth it. And they couldn't make it much easier for you. You get to schedule what time you would like to volunteer (times are available 24/7) and then you can sit back at your own desk or couch and chat away. At the end of the shift, you know that you have helped a person in crisis, and that is very rewarding.
by Kate S. (May 19, 2014)
IMAlive has excellent training. You start by watching videos that tell you how to commmunicate with the callers and you can look at the visuals that come with the videos. You can download the same visuals that are used in the videos so you can follow along. You can pause or rewind the videos any time that you want, so although you're given a time frame when they want you to complete the videos you can go at your own pace. After you complete the videos you do a bunch of practice chats with supervisors and other volunteers where you alternate playing the role of the caller and the role of the volunteer. It's really effective this way, so you can see how other volunteers do and often you can see mistakes better in other people than you would see them in your own work. Even when you do real chats, a supervisor is always available to look in on your chats and help with especially tough situations. The program is really well run and I'd recommend it to anyone.
by Jacquelyn E. (August 13, 2012)
Most people think working for a suicide/crisis chat would be horribly depressing, but nope - it's the most fulfilling, empowering thing I've ever done. The IMAlive training was like your favorite college class - fascinating, easy to lose yourself in, and something you could see yourself applying in everyday life. They ask for 4 hours a week, and you can work from home - perfect if you've got a busy schedule, or if you live in a big city and you're not sure you'll be able to beat rush hour to your volunteer job. You can pick your shifts and they're flexible about letting you swap when you need to, so it's easy to fit IMAlive into my schedule - huge bonus if you've got a full time job PLUS family PLUS a social life. A great organization and I'm proud to be working with them.
by Lauren T. (July 25, 2012)
This is the most amazing organization I've ever had the opportunity to volunteer for. I feel privileged to be a part of such a hard-working and dedicated group of people who have come together to truly make a difference in the lives of other people. The training we receive as volunteers is extensive and definitely prepares you for working in this environment. Everyone is there for you every step of the way, from training to certification to taking live chats, there is always someone there to support and encourage you. We are like one big long distance family and I'll be forever grateful to be a part of it. Join the IMAlive family, you won't regret it!
by Robert M. (July 25, 2012)
Doing good deeds doesn't usually mean sitting at home on your computer. IMAlive grants you that chance, and to say that volunteering for the organization is "simply" a good deed can't even do justice to the hardworking supervisors and dedicated volunteers who save lives each night. There are few volunteer activities one can do which guarantee, every time you show up for them, that you've made a meaningful difference in someone's life. IMAlive is exactly that type of volunteerism.
by Laura G. (February 20, 2012)
IMAlive is an amazing anniciative that has already brought hope and healing to hundreds. The online environment is accessible to volunteers and people-in-crisis alike providing amazing opportunities for volunteers, regardless of background, to become skilled helpers in a variety of crisis situations. Many volunteers join us because they've always wanted to volunteer for a hotline, but there isn't one located near where they live. The experience you will gain as an IMAlive volunteer is priceless. Join us today to help prevent suicide and help those in crisis.
by nora l. (February 13, 2012)
I have never felt so empowered in my life. Not only do I feel like I have the words to help people, I feel like I have the training and support to back me up. It was a great process for me- I was supported and encouraged the whole time I was in training. Now that I am completely qualified and taking real life calls- I feel even more supported! I would wholeheartedly encourage anyone who wants to make a difference in people's lives (and in their own) to sign up and take on this challenge. We are on the front lines, we are making a difference and it feels wonderful.
by Heather M. (February 10, 2012)
I got involved with IMAlive because I wanted to be part of an organization that helps people when they feel like no one cares. If you've ever had a close friend suffer from depression or attempt suicide, you know that it can be scary not knowing what to say that will help. IMAlive provides you with excellent training on risk factors for suicide, how to be an empathetic listener and helping a depressed person get through the days, hours or minutes ahead that seem impossible. This chat-based service is accessible to people who otherwise might not reach out, plus it's convenient for you because all the volunteer work is done from your own home. If you want to give back in a big way, and educate yourself on how to help those in crisis, consider joining us at IMAlive. We need you!
by Lisa S. (February 10, 2012)
IMAlive offers a unique and progressive service to those who are struggling with feelings of suicide/self-harm. The training is quite extenstive, but that is simply to prepare you for a significant, meaningful volunteer opportunity. There are so many out there who need someone to listen and to care. I cannot think of a better way to "pay it forward".
by Lauren S. from Irvine, CA (February 9, 2012)
For as a long as I can remember, I've always enjoyed helping people and supporting others in their time of need. I've been a proud supporter of To Write Love on Her Arms and PostSecret for several years now and was thrilled that they've joined forces with the Kristin Brooks Hope Center to change the lives of so many people. I'm so proud to be a part of this initiative. The training is thorough and informative and there is plenty of support from fellow trainees and staff throughout each step. Getting certified was one of my proudest moments, second only to taking my first chat. IMAlive is a very worthy cause and we are in need of more volunteers. Suicide doesn't need to be their only option. Enough is enough. Join IMAlive today!

Report this organization