If life is in danger call Triple Zero 000
If life is in danger call Triple Zero 000

Telephone Crisis Support volunteers

Did you know Lifeline's 13 11 14 service receives around 3,000 calls a day? That's over a million calls for help each year. If you're a good listener, compassionate, self-aware and non-judgemental, our training will give you the skills to save lives too.

'I get a great sense of satisfaction from being there  
for someone in their time of need; it's a real privilege.' 

Our service


Lifeline's Telephone Crisis Support Service provides 24-hour, confidential support 7 days a week for anyone who is in crisis, or is caring for someone in crisis.


People from all sorts of backgrounds phone us when they need someone to listen – we're there any time of the day or night, when they have nowhere else to turn.


Thanks to Lifeline, and our crisis supporters, no-one need face their darkest moments alone.

Could you be our next crisis supporter?

Volunteer Lifeline Telephone Crisis Supporters are given specific training before undertaking a four-hour shift once a fortnight at our telephone centre at Gordon. They listen to a caller’s situation, provide immediate support, help to clarify options, make safety plans if needed, and provide referral information for other services in the caller's local area if appropriate. 

Are you a good listener?

This is a very special job, so we're looking for people who are:

  • compassionate – with a strong sense of empathy and a desire to help others
  • respectful – have a non-judgemental approach to others regardless of their views and beliefs
  • self-aware – are self-reflective and open to ongoing learning and self-development
  • committed – can be relied on for an intensive period of training, ongoing fortnightly shifts and professional development
  • good communicators – can display a high level of verbal proficiency and good listening skills
  • computer literate – must have your own device and be confident in using eLearning programs, Zoom video conferencing and emails.

No previous experience is required

All training is provided, but you do need to:

  • be over 18
  • live in the Harbour to Hawkesbury Sydney catchment area in the northern area of Sydney (the suburbs and surrounding areas along the Pacific Highway from North Sydney to Berowra)
  • be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
  • complete a successful criminal record check (paid for by Lifeline).

Be there when someone needs you

When you decide to become a crisis supporter, you join a team of like-minded people who share in the common goal of wanting to help those who are struggling and in need of support.

You will grow as a person, and develop new skills and strengths, which many find helpful in their daily life as well as in their role at Lifeline.

You will be part of a friendly, supportive environment, where many volunteers make lifelong friendships. And, you will be giving back to your community and making a difference to those in crisis.

'I was feeling seriously suicidal and a Lifeline person
talked me down; it really worked. Thank you for saving my life.'

Training stages

Our volunteer Lifeline Telephone Crisis Supporters undertake three stages of training to refine their specific skills and knowledge.

Stage 1: Three-month training course
Stage 2: Supervised and supported shifts
Stage 3: Independent shifts

Find out more

Stage 1: Three-month training course 

Based on adult learning principles and experiential learning, this training course is delivered by Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury Sydney on behalf of Lifeline Australia.

The course consists of 11 consecutive group training sessions one evening per week for three hours from 6.30pm, and group training involves presentations, role plays and large and small group exercises.

In preparation for each week’s session, you will need to complete one to three hours of e-learning before the session.

Stage 2: Supervised and supported shifts

Training includes a minimum of four fully supervised and supported volunteer shifts of four hours on the phone within a period of two months.

This gives volunteers a chance to practise new skills and gain constructive feedback from an experienced mentor.

Successful completion of this stage leads to an invitation to Stage 3.

Stage 3: Independent shifts

The final stage of the training consists of independent volunteer shifts of four hours per fortnight on the phones in our phone room at Lifeline in Gordon.

You will be supported in your shift at all times by an In-Shift Supervisor. Volunteers can choose from the following shifts:

  • 6am to 10am
  • 10am to 2pm
  • 2pm to 6pm
  • 6pm to 10pm.

Lifeline organises regular group supervision and support sessions and provides ongoing professional development opportunities.

Gain nationally accredited skills

To ensure you are confident, skilled and able to support callers in their time of crisis, you must complete Lifeline Australia's nationally recognised training program.

On successful completion of your training, you'll receive a Statement of Attainment for the qualification CHC5500113 Crisis Support Skill Set in three Telephone Counselling Units of Competency:

  • CHCCCS019 Recognise and respond to crisis situations
  • CHCCCS028 Provide client-centred support to people in crisis
  • CHCCCS003 Increase the safety of individuals at risk of suicide.

What you need to know

Find out more about the training and courses you will undertake to become a volunteer Telephone Crisis Supporter.

'The training was fantastic! It has changed my life.
I’ve learned new skills I can use both with our callers and
in everyday situations, and I look forward to my fortnightly shift
knowing I can make a difference to someone in crisis.'

Are you ready to join us?

Yes, I want to register

Ready to start your journey to become a volunteer Telephone Crisis Supporter?
Please complete the form below and we'll be in touch, or phone our team on 02 9498 8805.