IDAHO SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE LOOKING FOR MORE VOLUNTEERS

Coeur d'Alene/Post Falls Press, Idaho Press-Tribune Staff

The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline is in need of more volunteers and is holding a training course in October.

BOISE — The Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline, by Jannus, is seeking volunteer crisis responders for all shifts.

Higher call and text volumes means the hotline has a need for more trained volunteers to staff the lines. The 2017 crisis contact volume will likely surpass the 2016 total — nearly 6,000 — in September. With its crisis text program and pending formal launch of crisis chat response (known together as Online Emotional Support or OES), the hotline has now expanded volunteer recruitment for the first time in its history to include 18- to 21-year-olds.

The hotline team trains volunteers — laypersons or professionals in the greater Boise area 18 or older — to become crisis response workers. The next training class begins Oct. 3 and completes Oct. 28. Tours and shadowing shifts for prospective volunteers are ongoing throughout September. The hotline provides training and experience. Crisis responders receive 50 hours of training and apprenticeship, including 14.5 CEU’s and commit to one 4 ½-hour hotline shift per week for one year.

Every shift is supervised by experienced staff in a comfortable and supportive environment.

To learn more, call Nina Leary at 208-258-6992 or Sharon Lightning at 208-813-3070 /email nleary@jannus.org; slightning@jannus.org or visit www.idahosuicideprevention.org to apply.

"Never in my life have I felt more worthwhile, more valuable, more needed than I do on the Suicide Prevention Hotline," said volunteer Jennie Rylee. "We save people’s lives in a very real and very personal sense. Besides being a mom and grandma, it’s by far the best thing I’ve ever done.”