We don’t have to tell you that becoming a crisis counselor is a rewarding experience. But we will anyway.
Supportive Community Network
Gain Important Soft Skills
World-Class Crisis Intervention Training
What is the time commitment for volunteers?
After completing a 40-hour training over the course of 10 weeks, volunteers must commit to a weekly 3-hour shift for a minimum of one year.
What are the technical requirements for volunteers?
To complete training and volunteer with The Trevor Project as a Counselor, you must have:
A personal laptop or desktop computer. Tablets are not permitted
Access to a private space with a secure, private high-speed internet connection with no VPN
An up-to-date operating system (such as Windows 10, macOS Catalina, or the most recent Linux)
The ability to download the latest version of Google Chrome
A minimum of 5Mbps download speed, 2Mbps upload speed and an Octane score of over 30,000. You can measure your internet speed here and measure your Octane score here
If you are applying to be a TrevorLifeline counselor, your private space must be quiet since you will be taking calls.
What is the training like?
Our 40-hour virtual training includes weekly learning modules that cover counseling skills, LGBTQ identity, our Support Model (the framework for all conversations on our crisis services platform), and relevant policies, procedures, and protocols to prepare prospective volunteers to speak with youth in crisis. Trainees will also complete a number of scheduled role-plays to apply this training material and prepare for interactions with the youth who reach out to us. During training, there are two evaluation points: Adhering to the Support Model and completing a full and accurate Risk Assessment in role-plays are required to graduate training. Trainees who complete the counselor training program and adhere to Trevor’s Support Model are moved forward to become active counselors.
Do I have to be available during specific days and times for training?
You do not need to be available during specific days or times for training. Trainees are expected to spend around 3 hours each week to meet weekly training requirements that include the completion of training modules and module assessments, designed to reinforce the skills and concepts taught in the training modules. Additionally, trainees will sign up for role-plays on specific dates and times over the course of four weeks, where they will apply concepts and skills taught in training to practice scenarios. Role-plays are scheduled for two hours each and are available between 9:00 am EST-3:00 am EST most days, including weekends.
When do volunteer shifts take place?
The Trevor Project runs 24/7 crisis services for LGBTQ young people. This means that volunteer shifts happen all day and all night. We are currently looking for volunteers who are available during specific times of day when we need the most support in responding to young people who reach out to us. You can find out more about our current availability needs by contacting the Volunteer Recruitment team at [email protected] Upon graduation from training, volunteers work with our team to be placed onto shifts that align with their schedule and our most pressing needs.
What if I want to go on vacation or something comes up and I have to miss my shift?
The Trevor Project has policies to manage shift cancellations and substitutions as they are needed. However, we limit the number of shift cancellations volunteers can take, and ask that volunteers plan ahead to ensure they are generally available for shifts. The Trevor Project requires a full-year commitment for crisis services (Chat/Text/Lifeline) volunteers and generally does not accept applicants who will be outside the country for an extended period of time.
Can I volunteer from anywhere?
All of our volunteer opportunities are remote. Volunteers may work from anywhere in the United States (excluding U.S. territories), as long as they have access to a personal desktop or laptop computer, a consistent and stable server, a private and secure internet connection and a private space to respond to young people. Please note that volunteers are not able to use a school or work laptop or a public wifi connection during their volunteer shifts.
At this time we are only able to have volunteers fulfill their shifts while in the United States (excluding U.S. territories) due to our background check requirements and security protocols that ensure the safety of our youth.
What support will I receive as a volunteer?
During training you will have support from a Training Coordinator who will support you through role-plays, provide feedback, and answer questions throughout your journey. During New Counselor Shifts, you will be monitored by a Digital or Lifeline Supervisor for your first conversations with youth. Office hours are available for volunteers interested in one-on-one support and volunteers who would like to process difficult conversations that may arise during their shift.
I don’t have experience in mental health counseling. Can I still become a crisis counselor?
Yes! Our trainees undergo a 40-hour virtual training to prepare them extensively for the many potential scenarios that may emerge in conversations with LGBTQ youth in crisis.
Do you accept interns/MSW students as volunteers?
While everyone is welcome to apply, our volunteer structure requires that all volunteers go through the same application and training processes. We are unable to accommodate special program commitments such as serving as a practicum site, and volunteers are unable to accrue clinical hours towards licensure. Whenever we have internships available, you can find them on our Careers page.
Do you verify volunteer hours for school or court-mandated service?
Unfortunately, due to the scale of our program, we are unable to verify volunteer hours at this time.
Do you have any other volunteer opportunities?
At this time, our only volunteer opportunities are with our TrevorChat/TrevorText and TrevorLifeline programs.
How can my company get involved with The Trevor Project?
Please use our Contact Us page to connect with our corporate development team, who will be able to work with you to see how your team can best support our life-saving work.
I am not able to volunteer my time. How else can I get involved?
Host a Fundraiser: Have a birthday coming up? Want to raise money to support The Trevor Project? Learn how to host a successful fundraiser.
Donate: Your life-saving gift can help us train a record number of crisis counselors, continue to provide all of our crisis services 24/7, and expand our advocacy efforts.
I already submitted my application, but haven’t heard anything. What should I do?
Due to the volume of applications we receive each day, we are unable to provide updates on any individual application outside of confirming it was received. It can take several months from the time of submission for an application to be reviewed. Once you submit your application, no further action is needed from you. When we have reviewed your application, our Volunteer Recruitment team will notify you of our decision.
There are other ways to help.
Your donation will save lives.
Every day, LGBTQ young people in crisis reach out. It is vital we make sure our volunteers can continue to offer that support.
Trevor Volunteer Crisis Counselors go through a 40-hour virtual training over the course of 10 weeks that covers counseling skills, LGBTQ identity, the structure of a conversation on our crisis services, and relevant policies, procedures and protocols to prepare them to speak with young people in crisis who reach out on our free, confidential, and secure 24/7 services.
Young people reach out to The Trevor Project every day for a wide variety of reasons. Some young people are in moments of imminent risk of suicide; others just need someone to talk to. Our team will prepare volunteers extensively for the many potential scenarios that may emerge in conversation.
Please note that potential volunteers must be at least 18 years old to apply.
Our Crisis Services
We have two programs volunteers can choose from: TrevorLifeline, where volunteers respond to calls from young people, and TrevorChat/TrevorText, where volunteers engage with young people in crisis via chat or text message.
Phone (Lifeline): Lifeline Counselors are trained to answer calls from LGBTQ young people who reach out to our 24/7 phone Lifeline when they are feeling suicidal or need a safe, non-judgmental place to talk.
Digital (Chat and Text): Digital Crisis Counselors are trained to answer chats and texts from LGBTQ young people who reach out about issues such as coming out, LGBTQ identity, depression, and suicide.