Hotline and Textline Volunteer

Thank you for your interest in applying to be volunteer crisis worker on PRS CrisisLink’s Hotline and Textline. If you haven’t already done so, please carefully review the hotline volunteer qualifications, commitment requirements, application process and training schedule.

Ready to apply to be a Hotline or Textline Volunteer?

documentApplication here: Volunteer Hotline Crisis Worker Application or Volunteer Textline Crisis Worker Application

If you have questions, please contact Lauren Padgett, PRS Manager of Volunteers & Events, at or 703-531-6351.


Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Where do volunteers take hotline calls?
A: Crisis Worker Hotline volunteers answer calls 24/7/365 from our call center location in Arlington, VA. Our center is co-located with the Virginia Hospital Center Urgent Care location on Carlin Springs. This is accessible by car and bus routes from the ARL 75 and 25A&B MetroBus routes. Crisis Worker Textline volunteers answer texts remotely from their own private computer with secure internet access.

Q: If I commit to a year, what happens if I have to miss a shift?
A: We have a swap system which allows you to swap shifts with other volunteers.

Q: I know my schedule this semester, but not for the next couple of semesters. Am I able to change my shift?
A: Yes. We prefer our volunteers to stay on a shift for at least three months in the beginning as your listening skills are new and consistency in routine helps our volunteers feel more prepared for the work. However, we understand life changes and can make accommodations within reason.

Q: Do you have to have experience in mental health to be a crisis worker?
A: No. We find that our volunteers have varying levels of experience with mental health and welcome all of those ranges.  Many volunteers have no formal training in mental health but have experience a mental health problem in the past and their recovery motivates them to help others. Also, many of our volunteers have a family member or friend who has experienced a mental health crisis and they want to give back as well.

Q: Can Hotline volunteers take calls from home?
A: No. Crisis Worker Hotline volunteers cannot answer calls from home. The nature of how our system works, having calls taken from home limits our capacity to receive calls. If there is a severe weather emergency, calls can be moved offsite and our trained weather volunteers assist with coverage from remote locations.