ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — Caring Contact will be offering its 99th volunteer listening training from Sept. 21 through Dec. 14. Training will run once a week on Tuesday mornings from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., both virtually and in person.
Participants receive 54 hours of comprehensive training by nationally certified instructors in active listening and applied suicide intervention skills training. Volunteers develop the ability to listen actively, assess the needs of someone in crisis, and provide empathy and support to keep someone safe.
“This training and volunteering opportunity is ideal for retirees, empty-nesters and stay-at-home parents,” Caring Contact Executive Director Mary Claire Givelber said. “Many of our listeners were looking for something meaningful to do after they retired or their children left home. They find that volunteering at Caring Contact not only gives them something to do with their newfound freedom but also gives them a sense of reward when they help someone in crisis. Full-time professionals also participate, finding the flexible volunteer hours work well with their work obligations.”
Following training, new volunteer listeners are supported by seasoned listeners during 24 hours of internship before they take calls on their own. Even once a volunteer is a certified listener, the hotline provides a range of support and training opportunities to allow them to keep honing their skills.
Anyone interested in registering for the training should visit http://caringcontact.org/volunteer-listener-application/.
Caring Contact is an award-winning, volunteer-staffed crisis hotline and listening community, providing active listening support and best-in-class training to the Central and Northern New Jersey community. More than 70 trained volunteer listeners answered more than 15,000 calls last year from people in crisis, having suicidal thoughts, or simply feeling depressed and lonely.
If you are in crisis and need someone to listen, call 800-273-8255. To learn more, visit www.caringcontact.org.