SLO Hotline looking for volunteers to staff 24-hour crisis line

SLO Hotline is looking for volunteers to answer calls at the 24-hour mental health support, crisis and suicide prevention line.

Training is scheduled to start in late January, according to a news release from Transitions-Mental Health Association, a community-based nonprofit that operates the SLO Hotline program.

After completing a series of eight training classes and additional mentoring, phone line volunteers are expected to make a minimum commitment of 16 hours a month for one year. Volunteers answer phone calls on scheduled shifts, and staff supervision is provided the first three months of service.

Last year, more than 8,000 calls were made to SLO Hotline by people in crisis or in need of support. Volunteers help callers locate resources and support services, learn the skills required to appropriately assist and refer callers to community agencies, and aid in defusing crisis situations.

“SLO Hotline volunteers form the core of this service,” program coordinator Mike Bossenberry said. “Ranging in age from 18 to 80, they bring a diversity of experience and skills, and share a common interest in helping others.”

SLO Hotline is an accredited crisis center, as evaluated by the American Association of Suicidology, which establishes and monitors the criteria for crisis lines in the U.S., according to Transitions-Mental Health Association. The hotline number is 800-783-0607.

For more information, contact Bossenberry at mbossenberry@t-mha.org or 540-6541.

Cynthia Lambert: 805-781-7929, @ClambertSLO