Are you interested in making a meaningful difference in
The NAMI HelpLine is contacted over 200,000 times a year by
people across the U.S. who are affected by mental illness and in
need of help. HelpLine Information and Resource Referral
Specialists provide a vital service to the NAMI community by
responding with empathy to inquiries by phone, SMS/chat, email,
written correspondence, social media posts, and by providing
information about mental health conditions and treatment options,
NAMI education and support programs, and other mental health
NAMI HelpLine Specialists help individuals and families improve
their lives and advance recovery by listening to their concerns and
connecting them with essential resources and services. They extend
empathy, understanding, respect and emotional support to everyone
contacting the NAMI HelpLine. In return, as volunteers they will
develop a deep understanding of the mental health landscape, mental
illnesses, treatment options and recovery strategies. They will
also experience the appreciation and gratitude expressed by the
individuals, families and caregivers they serve.
Currently, all HelpLine Specialists are working from their homes
and connecting with help seekers using NAMI's cloud-based
communications platform by computer-based phone, web chat and text.
Volunteers are required to have access to a computer with the
most-recent operating system (Mac or PC) as well as high-speed
Working with callers to the NAMI HelpLine is extremely rewarding
and at times, challenging. It requires a commitment to learning,
and our extensive training is designed to prepare you to address
the many needs being presented by help seekers. The training
consists of a total of 45 hours to be completed prior to the start
of your first shift, including 30 hours of independent learning
over a 3-week period, followed by 3 days of virtual training
coaching sessions with HelpLine staff. The independent learning
portion is a combination of online learning modules and independent
reading, as well as viewing of streaming online videos and
documentaries. The 3 days of Staff-supported online virtual
coaching sessions are conducted during the 4th week over a series
of Zoom meetings and are @ 2-3 hours in the morning and afternoon.
All training is completed prior to the start of the volunteer
commitment to serving our callers on the HelpLine.
Minimum Time Commitment Requirements
Volunteers - a minimum of one, 4-hour shift per week, for a
minimum duration of six months
All shifts must be fulfilled during regular HelpLine hours
within Shift #1:?10am - 2pm; Shift #2: 2 - 6pm; or Shift #3: 4-8pm
Mon-Fri, Eastern Standard Time.
The NAMI HelpLine team strives to create a supportive "virtual"
community for our volunteers!? Ongoing support is provided
throughout each shift via cloud-based technology and social media,
and our staff and volunteers participate daily in two mid-day Zoom
meetings to share experiences and information, and to answer
* A student or professional of mental health, and/or someone
with "lived," personal experience- either as a person living with a
mental health condition or as someone caring for a loved one living
with a mental health condition.
* Excellent communication skills (oral and written),
particularly in listening and ability to convey a respectful,
empathetic tone, over the phone, email, or SMS/chat communication.
* Analytical ability with problem-solving skills and
resourcefulness for assessing a help seeker's needs and finding
correct resources in a timely manner. * Basic knowledge of mental
illnesses, treatments, recovery, and mental health care systems
with an interest in learning more. * Ability to conduct basic
internet research quickly while simultaneously managing a phone
conversation or SMS/Chat session. * Verbal bilingual
English/Spanish ability strongly welcomed.
* Demonstrated reliability, professionalism, and
* Respect and compassion for people affected by mental health
conditions with desire to help. * Ability to manage emotionally
stressful situations with positive spirit and open-mindedness. *
Passion to learn about mental health conditions, resources, and
behavioral health system. * Willingness to take initiative to seek
help when needed, and ability to accept and implement constructive
feedback. * Maturity and patience to communication effectively with
people from diverse backgrounds and experiences while demonstrating
empathy to facilitate respectful dialogue with callers experiencing
emotional distress or active psychosis.