Are you a good listener?

You could save lives by becoming a volunteer Lifeline Telephone Crisis Supporter.

What is Lifeline’s Telephone Crisis Support Service?

Lifeline's national Telephone Crisis Support Service (13 11 14) receives approximately 3000 calls a day, every day of the year. That's almost 1.1 million calls for help each year.

The service provides 24 hour, 7 days a week confidential support for anyone in crisis, or caring for someone in crisis. People from all backgrounds contact us about all kinds of life problems.

Whatever their crisis we are there for our callers when they have nowhere else to turn.

As a Crisis Supporter you could help to make a real difference to someone's future. Being there when they are in desperate need of support.

Some words from recent callers:

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

"You are very good at listening, you are not out to solve my problems, because that is not what I am looking for."

What do volunteer telephone crisis supporters do?

Trained volunteer Lifeline Telephone Crisis Supporters undertake 4-hour fortnightly shifts at our telephone centre at Gordon. Telephone Crisis Supporters listen to a caller’s situation, provide immediate support, assist to clarify options, make safety plans if needed and provide referral information for other services in their local area if appropriate.

What can you expect to get out of being a Volunteer Lifeline Crisis Supporter?

Firstly, you will learn and grow as a person, developing new skills and strengths.

You will become part of our team of amazing and like-minded people, all with a common goal of wanting to help those who are struggling and in need of support within our community.

We train you in specific skills and knowledge applicable for use on the Lifeline Crisis line, however you may well find that many of them are beneficial in your daily life as well.

You will be giving back to your community and will make a difference to Australians in crisis.

We provide a friendly, supportive environment, in which many volunteers make lifelong friendships.

Some words from Lifeline Telephone Crisis Supporters:

Crisis Supporter

"The training was fantastic! It has changed my life and has taught me many new skills to use, not only with our callers but in everyday situations. I look forward to my fortnightly shift knowing that I can make a difference to someone's life."

Crisis Supporter

"I really get a great sense of satisfaction, just from being able to be there for someone in their time of need, it really is a privilege."

Crisis Supporter

"Through the training, facilities and organisation at Lifeline, I am now in the privileged position of being part of a team of people who care and are available to come alongside others in some of their darkest moments."

How do we train you to become a Lifeline Telephone Crisis Supporter?

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 will 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

There are the 3 stages of training to become a volunteer Lifeline Telephone Crisis Supporter:

Stage one of the training is a three-month training course based on adult learning principles and experiential learning.  This training is delivered by Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury Sydney, Gordon on behalf of Lifeline Australia RTO 88036.

The course consists of 11 consecutive group training sessions one evening per week for 3 hours, 6.30pm to 9.30pm. The group training involves presentations, role-plays and large and small-group exercises. In preparation for each week’s training session there is approximately 1–3 hours of  e-learning to be completed at home, prior to the session.

Stage two of the training includes a minimum of four 4-hour fully supervised and supported volunteer shifts on the phone within a period of 2 months. This provides opportunities for volunteers to practise new skills and gain constructive feedback from an experienced Mentor. Successful completion of this stage leads to an invitation to stage three.

Stage three of the training consists of independent volunteer shifts of four hours per fortnight on the phones in our phone room at Lifeline in Gordon. Volunteers can choose from the following shifts: 6am to 10am, 10am to 2pm, 2pm to 6pm, 6pm to 10pm. You will be supported in your shift at all times by an In-Shift Supervisor. Lifeline organises regular group supervision and support sessions and provides ongoing professional development opportunities.

Additional Information

Who are we looking for?

No previous experience is required as training is provided.

We are looking for people who have:

Compassion - a strong sense of empathy plus the desire to help others

Respect – a non-judgemental approach to others regardless of whether their own views and beliefs are aligned with yours or not

Self-Awareness – self-reflective and open to ongoing learning and self-development

Time – to commit to an intensive period of training, ongoing fortnightly shifts and professional development

Communication skills – a high level of verbal proficiency and good listening skills   

Computer skills – you must have your own device and be confident in using eLearning programs, Zoom video conferencing, emails.

Eligibility to apply is contingent on the applicant:

  • Being over 18 years of age
  • Be living in the Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury Sydney catchment area in the northern area of Sydney, which covers the suburbs and surrounding areas along the Pacific Highway from North Sydney to Berowra
  • Being an Australian or New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
  • Completing a successful criminal record check (paid by Lifeline)

If you meet the criteria described above, then becoming a Telephone Crisis Supporter is a great way to help your community and build your own skills and knowledge.

2023 Training and Volunteer Intakes

Intake 1: February – closed, course full

Intake 2: August – enquire from
February 2023 onwards


To start your journey towards becoming a volunteer Telephone Crisis Supporter at Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury Sydney, please complete the expression of interest form and we will be in touch.

Alternatively you can contact our friendly Telephone Crisis Support Training Team on 02 8287 1154.