Frequently Asked Questions for Volunteers
Why should I volunteer for the Crisis Assistance Listening Line?
Volunteers are the backbone of the CALL. Without you, we would not be able to operate. The 2006 State of New Mexico Comprehensive Health Plan established that New Mexico has the 4th highest rate of suicide in the nation, with youths ages 15-24 at the most risk. In your community, there is a great need for suicide prevention services such as the CALL.
Crisis line volunteers are here for people who feel that they have nobody else to turn to.
According to a 2007 American Association of Suicidology study, callers to crisis lines feel a significant decrease in suicidality, level of crisis, hopelessness, and psychological pain. These feelings of increased hope last for weeks after the call.
You can help others in your community today. Help us carry out this vital service.
I'd like to volunteer for the CALL. Where should I start?
Click here to fill out an application.
A staff person will contact you after receiving the application. Trainings are held several times a year, and we will let you know when the next training begins. Over the course of about 3 weeks, you will receive 16 hours of crisis intervention training, 16 hours of didactic training on relevant topics, and 8 hours of role-plays, where you can practice listening and intervention skills before starting work on the phone lines. Volunteers are asked to commit to the CALL for one year, and sign up for at least one 4-hour shift per week. Should a volunteer be unable to work their shift or have a need to leave town, we simply ask that you let us know.
What type of people volunteer for the CALL?
The CALL has a wide variety of people who staff the phone lines. We have numerous community members of all ages from Las Cruces and surrounding areas.
If you are a student at New Mexico State University (NMSU), you can take the CALL training and work the lines for a credited class through the Counseling and Educational Psychology (CEP) department. Students can also intern at the CALL. Please contact us at (575) 646-2813 or email@example.com to find out more information.
Do I need to have any background experience in crisis lines or counseling to volunteer?
No. However, if you are a counselor, you may not need to participate in the full 40-hour training. Talk to us about your background and we will work with you.
After the 40-hour training, what kind of time commitment would I have to make?
We ask that you commit for one year, to one 4-hour shift a week. The shifts run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from 12-4, 4-8, and 8-12. If you cannot make your shift or go out of town, simply let us know.
What if I get a difficult call, such as a suicide attempt, on my shift?
The CALL is under the direction of the New Mexico State University Counseling Center. We have trained staff on-call 24/7. You can rely on them to help you through any difficult call. In addition, most of your shifts will be with a partner, who can also help you with the call. If you do experience a difficult call and would like to talk about it with a trained counselor, we provide that service to you at no cost.
Will the callers ever know who I am or how to contact me?
No. Callers will never know who you are or where the CALL is located. We have numerous security methods in place for the protection of our volunteers that we will share with you at the training.
If I volunteer, is there any way to change my mind later?
Yes. If you find that volunteering for the CALL is not for you, you have the right to stop training or volunteering at any time.