Crisis Line Responder Training — FAQ

1. How is Crisis Line Responder training delivered?

All training is offered in a virtual training platform. There are additional support shifts on site in our Nanaimo Crisis Centre for those volunteers who choose Option A.

2. Is there a fee for training?

Registrants are required to pay a non-refundable training fee of $100.00 before training begins.

3. What if I am not able to complete the material by the deadline?

By being accepted into training, you are committing to a comprehensive crisis intervention skills course and attendance for all sessions is required. It is essential for the flow of information and skill development that the material is completed in a timely manner. If there are concerns about the ability to complete the material on time, please connect with your trainer.

4. What if I am not able to attend one of the weekly Zoom group training sessions?

You need to connect with your trainer ahead of time as other arrangements may be possible. A make-up session may be provided at a cost of $40.00.

5. When are we able to take the Crisis Chat and Crisis Text training?

Once you have completed your voice mentoring shifts, an additional Chat and Text training will be available. The Remote Only Crisis Chat and Crisis Text opportunity is Option B.

6. When are we able to take interactions on the Talk Suicide Canada Line and Text?

Once you have competed the Volunteer Crisis Line Responder Training and Talk Canada Suicide network training.

7. How long does it take to complete training?

  • Nine weeks' duration in total
  • Each Trainual session takes approximately two hours to complete
  • A mandatory three-hour Group Session via Zoom each week for five weeks
  • Final three role-plays over the phone for a total of two hours
  • Minimum of four support shifts of four hours each
  • Training for Crisis Chat and Crisis Text takes approximately 12 hours
  • Talk Suicide Canada network training takes approximately 16 hours
  • See our training schedule for Option C in 2023 for further details. Training for Options A and C will return in 2024.

8. What is the ongoing shift commitment after the training?

  • Please see minimum commitment hours for each of the three volunteer opportunities.
  • Volunteers can complete shifts with more frequency if they choose.
  • The purpose behind this volunteer agreement is:
    • To be able to ensure the lines always have adequate coverage.
    • To acquire the experience needed to absorb and apply the knowledge and skills learned in training to become an effective Crisis Line Responder.
    • To balance the investment VICS puts into training each Crisis Line Responder.

9. How do I apply to become a volunteer?

Please complete the online application form.

Once we receive your application, the Crisis Line Training Coordinator will contact you to arrange a telephone or in-person interview and discuss training options.

10. Is there an interview?

Each applicant will participate in a telephone or in-person interview. The interview provides the applicant and the Crisis Society with an opportunity to assess mutual compatibility and to gain an understanding of how the applicant’s skills and interests fit with the work of the society.

The primary prerequisites for taking part in the training program are demonstrated listening and empathy skills, personal life stability, and the ability to honour our volunteer commitment.


For more information, please contact the Crisis Line Training Department at


Volunteering on the Vancouver Island Crisis Line
Introduction and Training Dates
NEW: Training Options
Service, Commitment, Pre-Training, Fee
Frequently Asked Questions

Application Form
A Volunteer Crisis Line Responder's Reflections