Samaritans operates a 24-hour suicide prevention hotline that responded to over 75,000 calls in 2014 with staff comprised of unpaid volunteers who go through intensive training in order to provide a professional service. This means that all applicants are required to demonstrate the same levels of accountability, responsibility and punctuality that would be required in any professional social service environment.
If you are a caring, responsible and organized individual who is a good communicator and wants to contribute to the community he/she lives in, read all of the information below.
And please note that Samaritans only accepts candidates for hotline positions that meet our strict requirements and who follow the application directions exactly as stated.
Become A Samaritans Hotline Volunteer
Samaritans volunteers are a remarkable mix of people of every age, culture and background who work together to provide ongoing and immediate emotional support and crisis responses to those who are depressed, in distress or experiencing trauma, a personal loss, self-destructive or suicidal behavior and need help getting through their difficult times.
Samaritans volunteers are sensitive, open-minded individuals who get a great sense of personal satisfaction in being part of an effective, organized and collaborative team of people from their own community who are devoted to the cause of helping people and preventing suicide.
Hotline Volunteers Change The Lives Of Those They Help And Their Own
Hotline work is challenging, the training intensive but the experience is extremely rewarding. In fact, the majority of Samaritans volunteers over the years have stated that they have received greater sense of accomplishment and satisfaction from their hotline work–with its focus on active listening, suspending your personal judgment, organizational structure and teamwork—than they did from their paid positions.
This is supported by the fact that Samaritans hotline volunteers develop personal and professional skills that have helped them land jobs in the public and private sector (communications, mental health, public health, education, etc.) as well as get into some of the most respected public health, mediation, social work, psychology and other clinical and research-related graduate programs in the country (NYU, Harvard, MIT, Columbia, Hunter, Princeton, Berkeley, etc.).
Who Should Apply to Become a Samaritans Hotline Volunteer
Applicants include individuals from the workforce seeking a meaningful way to help others or get involved in their community, parents with children out of the house or in school who want to utilize their free time in a productive fashion, retirees looking for a place where they can continue to learn and work with others and those pursuing academic goals who see Samaritans as a significant step in their personal development.
No matter what the goal or reason, people are often surprised by Samaritans strict application requirements and the demanding nature of the hotline training program, mistakenly believing that since they are volunteering it will be adaptable to their personality and needs. But that is not the case. At Samaritans, we are volunteers doing professional work and we seek people who embrace that concept.
What Samaritans Volunteers Are Saying
“When you work on yourself to serve someone else, you feel uplifted and it makes you feel that you’re doing something meaningful in this life.”
“I don’t think there is any other place like Samaritans, where volunteers are doing very difficult work but feel among family at the same time….”
“I have completed most of the course work for a Masters in Social Work and I have never had a course as important to my career development as the Samaritans training.”
What It Takes To Apply
Samaritans is a serious organization, run by serious people who believe in the work we do to prevent suicide and save lives. We are seeking like-minded people who are responsible, punctual, capable of working together as members of a team and able to keep the commitments they make.
The Next Step
If you want to apply to become a Samaritans Hotline Volunteer and attend one of our upcoming information sessions, please complete the following:
We will send you a Volunteer Information Packet promptly. If you have any difficulties, call and leave a message on Samaritans Hotline Recruitment Line at (212) 673-3041. We look forward to hearing from you.
Please note: The Samaritans of New York is a government-funded program and all contact information will be verified.