http://crisistextline.org

Crisis Text Line

Crisis Counselor

July 2018 • Orlando, FL

What I liked

Flexibility and support

What I wish was different

Earlier start date (faster clearance from training)

Advice

1 person found this helpful

Crisis Counselor

January 2021 • Irvine, CA

What I liked

I enjoyed the flexibility of shifts, the very accessible support from experienced counselors, and the feeling that I was directly helping someone talk through their experiences and traumas.

What I wish was different

I wish there was more clarity about the aftermath of the conversations.

Advice

I would recommend being very in touch with yourself during this experience and being aware of your own limits when talking to others about theirs. I would also recommend trying it out, and not being too hard on yourself if a conversation doesn't go as well as you would have liked!
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Crisis Counselor

April 2021 • New York City, NY

What I liked

The gratification of helping people is what keeps me coming back. The supervisors are supportive, the other counselors are lovely to talk to, and the platform is easy to use.

What I wish was different

Some supervisors weren't always readily available during time-sensitive moments, but I understand they're probably busy with other cases and counselors.

Advice

Don't take it personally when texters don't readily open up to you or when they END a conversation. There's so much going on behind the screen we'll never know. You did the best you could, and you've helped them more than you know.
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Crisis Counselor

June 2020 • Aurora, IL

What I liked

Being a crisis counselor you are able to work with a variety of individuals ranging from young children to the elderly. You work with each texter in need in order to bring each individual a little more relief from the stress they are going through. Every case is different and it allows you to have a different perspective on life. This kind of work is really great for not only helping others when they are feeling low but also for building your own personal growth. I have volunteered with a lot of different places and of them all, Crisis Text Line has been the most eye opening and the most humbling.

What I wish was different

Advice

Make sure you take care of your own mental health too! There is a saying that they like to use at CTL and that saying is “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. Having a personal stress management plan is key when helping others. With everything going on in the world, it is easy to start to feel overwhelmed. Once you start feeling that way, the best thing to do is to take care of yourself. It is truly hard to provide sufficient support to others in need when you are unable to find the support for yourself while you are in need.
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Crisis Text Line Volunteer

March - September 2020 • North Andover, MA

What I liked

i loved the experience I gained and how much it helped me grow as a person. Especially considering how much time I had during the Pandemic. I think that it felt really nice to give back and be able to help others. The entire community that helped me through the process of becoming certified and training, etc. was very welcoming and encouraging.

What I wish was different

Nothing

Advice

I think make sure you're taking care of yourself because it can be very draining work mentally so make sure that you're doing small self-care things to make sure that you're okay first before being able to help others.
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Volunteer

June 2020 • Abingdon, MD

What I liked

I volunteer for Crisis Text Line because practicing empathy and reflective listening makes me a better friend, partner, and employee.

What I wish was different

Advice

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Crisis Counselor

May 2020 • Elk Grove, CA

What I liked

I enjoy the flexibility of the position (I log on twice a week, from anywhere from around 10PM until 2/3AM depending on my schedule) and the temporary relationships I form with the texters. Especially during times like pandemic and elections, there have been more and more people dealing with domestic abuse, depression, anxiety, loneliness, and more, so I wanted to devote my time to people who were looking for support. The other crisis counselors and supervisors on the Platform are pretty sociable and engaging, which helps to create a little community online that continues past once I've logged off for the night/week.

What I wish was different

Sometimes when in a conversation with a texter, I want to be able to follow up with them for whatever reason, whether it's because I'm worried for their safety or I would just like the opportunity to check in like a friend. When it comes to the Crisis Text Line, the service is supposed to be used for ~short bursts of directed support for each texter intended to take them from high stress/hot moments to cool calms/better than how they were before they started the convo. While there have been influxes of texters due to social media posts with the number going viral and the number of texters can sometimes vastly outnumber the counselors, I do wish there was less of an emphasis on wrapping up conversations based on time and not with regards to how settled the texter feels.

Advice

When volunteering in this position, it's important to check in with yourself before checking in with others. While it's not impossible to help people while you yourself are having a rough time, it can make assisting texters incredibly difficult when you're feeling overwhelmed or experiencing stressful situations in your own life. Don't be afraid to ask for help and lean on others for support until you feel like yourself again, because you will benefit yourself and the people you serve when you can give 100%.
2 people found this helpful

Crisis Counselor Volunteer

January 2020 • Round Rock, TX

What I liked

I loved that I was constantly able to help people on a regular basis from the comfort of my own home.

What I wish was different

Nothing, I loved it so much!

Advice

Be ready to commit, it can be a taxing experience but it's so worth it. Get the help you need if you feel like it is too taxing.
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crisis counselor

August 2019 • New Milford, NJ

What I liked

*Love, not like. I cherish our amazing staff members as well as brave texters. Speaking your mind is not at all easy... still, it's well worth the shot. Actively leaning on your support systems is a key of healing! My position here has allowed me to extend both support and resources to our community. I plan on continuing my journey with Crisis Text Line:)

What I wish was different

Honestly, nothing really. The team is very adaptive and responsive to any concerns/inquiries each counselor has.

Advice

Make sure to incorporate self-care time for you too! The only way you can give support to others, is if you also acknowledge your needs yourself. It's all about balance. Together, let's encourage one another to seek the support we all deserve.
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Crisis Counselor

March 2020 • None, Turin

What I liked

I really enjoyed my experience with the Crisis Text Line. I feel like I learned a lot in the training and that I made a difference every shift.

What I wish was different

N/A

Advice

Try to maintain a consistent schedule with your shifts
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Volunteer

March 2016 • Milwaukee, WI

What I liked

Spending my free time helping people in crisis, knowing I’m making a difference.

What I wish was different

If anything I wish I would have volunteered more hours than I did, just because it’s so rewarding

Advice

If you’re looking to volunteer, look for a cause that means a lot to you instead of something you don’t care much for. That way it will be such an amazing experience and rewarding work and can also help set yourself up for your future if you find a position that really interests you.
2 people found this helpful

Crisis counselor

May 2019 • Tampa, FL

What I liked

Helping people

What I wish was different

Nothing

Advice

Very rewarding but tiring
2 people found this helpful

Crisis counselor

March 2018 • Louisiana State University, LA

What I liked

I really liked the hands on experience I received from working with them.

What I wish was different

I wish I would have received a little more training time with a supervisor

Advice

If you are thinking about going to counseling as a career, this is a great way to gain some experience
2 people found this helpful

Crisis counselor

March 2019 • Tempe, AZ

What I liked

Opportunity to help those in need during times of crisis and poor mental health. Flexible schedule where you are able to volunteer whenever you have time.

What I wish was different

N/A

Advice

I would advise that one should be prepared to deal with some heavy issues, and in light of that, it is important to take care of your own mental health and well being.
3 people found this helpful

Crisis Counselor

May 2019 • Telford, PA

What I liked

Important training that's still usable!

What I wish was different

I'd be able to volunteer consistently with school and work still.

Advice

DO IT! It's really life changing.
2 people found this helpful

Spike Captain

May 2019 • New York City, NY

What I liked

I love the sense of community that this work offers. I’ve met a lot of friends and acquaintances through this organization that I know will last a lifetime.

What I wish was different

Nothing much!

Advice

This job has unconventional hours (10PM-4AM EST) so being more of a night owl is preferable.
2 people found this helpful

Crisis Counselor

September 2018 • Tampa, FL

What I liked

The opportunity to make a real, lasting difference in the lives of others

What I wish was different

Advice

1 person found this helpful

Crisis Counselor

July 2018 • Jackson, MS

What I liked

I liked it being on my own schedule and from home

What I wish was different

I wish we had more time for breaks between shifts

Advice

It’s a lot more stressful then it looks so don’t overwhelm yourself
1 person found this helpful

Crisis counselor

September 2017 • Grand Rapids, MI

What I liked

They are very supportive and understanding

What I wish was different

Advice

1 person found this helpful

Crisis Counselor

July 2018 • Spokane, WA

What I liked

I currently am volunteering for the ongoing position of Crisis Counselor for the Crisis Text Line, which is a very innovate program, which is very well organized and the supervisors are incredibly supportive. I enjoy volunteering in this way because I am innately service oriented, and I get a great deal of life satisfaction when I can be of service to people in this way.

What I wish was different

I wish that I had more time to volunteer and take conversations. And of course, I wish that the world didn't need the Crisis Text Line, aside from that Utopian thought, I have had a great experience with the training, the volunteering, and everything. I can't think of anything that I would really like to be different.

Advice

I would recommend that everyone with a service orientation consider volunteering specifically with the CTL, because it is very versatile with hours, and you can do it from anywhere that you have an internet connection, a computer, and two hour blocks of privacy. The training really prepares you, and I feel like a better person for doing. I would go a bit further with the same train of thought and also say that I have learned the value of volunteering from my experience, and I honestly feel that everyone should try contributing to the well-being of the world by volunteering. It is really personally rewarding as well.
3 people found this helpful
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