Volunteer Crisis Counselors

When it was formed in 1969, the Crisisline was a volunteer program and volunteers continue to be at the core of our work. If you are a good listener and want to help others, sign up for this life-changing experience as a volunteer crisis counselor.

We offer on-going comprehensive training for volunteers throughout the year.   Counselors commit to a year of service on the Crisisline following the training.  Counselors receive regular supervision, support, and additional educational opportunities.  The Crisisline schedule enables people with a variety of personal and work schedules to participate.

Crisisline Counselors learn:

  • how to help people during times of crisis
  • how to listen and respond effectively in all areas of life
  • how to prevent suicide and other violent behavior
  • how loss and trauma affect people
  • how mental illness impacts life
  • about other problems of living and how to help people manage them
  • about community resources for the wide variety of human needs
  • how to manage their own stress

Crisisline Counselors gain:

  • skills and knowledge which improve interactions with partners, children, colleagues, students, friends, etc.
  • experience which strengthens resumes and applications. Students, people entering the work force, and those contemplating a career change find that SPCS volunteer work is esteemed by graduate schools and employers.
  • membership in a diverse group of dedicated and dynamic people.
  • purpose which builds confidence, competence, and joy in living.

Minimum Qualifications to train to be a Crisisline Counselor:

  • Maturity (typically 20 years old to 100 years old)
  • Ability to listen with compassion and open-mindedness


United Way Tompkins County

The mission of Suicide Prevention & Crisis Service is to promote constructive responses to crisis and trauma, and to prevent violence to self and others through direct support and community education. SPCS is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, a United Way Agency, and a regional member of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline