Helpline is an information, support and referral service that provides information to people experiencing mental health issues, as well as their family, friends and carers.
It is a peer-led, volunteer phone service, which means every person working on Helpline has a lived experience of mental health issues. This may be as someone with their own personal experience, or someone who cares for a family member or friend with mental health issues.
Helpline is a national service, operating Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm (EST).
What would I be doing as a Helpline volunteer?
Helpline volunteers complete a four-hour shift on a day and time of their choosing, once a week or once a fortnight. Shifts are either 9am-1pm, 1-5pm or 5-9pm.
While on shift, Helpline volunteers assist callers in navigating the mental health system and provide emotional support and information about the services available to people experiencing mental health issues, as well as their family and friends.
Volunteers also make outgoing calls to particular individuals to provide intentional peer support, follow-up calls, appointment reminders and support between regular mental health support.
Want to get involved?
The Helpline training program consists of five sessions across five consecutive weeks, usually held on a Tuesday evening from 6-9pm. After training is completed, successful volunteers will undertake four shifts alongside an experienced volunteer. During these shifts, they will listen to how the experienced volunteer works with callers. Once these initial shifts are completed, volunteers will begin taking phone calls under supervision.
How many volunteers are we looking for?
Helpline has three intakes per year, with approximately 16 volunteers in each intake.
What will the training cover?
Helpline training covers the structure of the mental health systems, understanding mental illness, telephone communication skills, managing challenging phone calls, communicating empathy, listening skills and administration skills. Future opportunities for volunteer development are also offered through workshops held throughout the year.
Is there a cost involved in the training?
Training is paid for by Wellways and free to all Helpline volunteers.
Helpline expects a minimum 12-month commitment from volunteers. You would need to do one four-hour shift each week or each fortnight. It is also mandatory that volunteers complete a minimum of 20 shifts before a reference can be given.
To register your interest as a Helpline volunteer, please complete the form below.