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Home > Volunteer > Crisis & Suicide Intervention Service

Crisis & Suicide Intervention Service

Volunteer Clinical Associate Position

Volunteer “Clinical Associates” are needed to take calls and/or texts from individuals in crisis in the comfort and convenience of the volunteers’ own homes. Clinical Associates have a variety of professional, educational, and personal experiences that help them in their service and allow our program to thrive and help those in need. No prior training is necessary to volunteer for the Crisis and Suicide Intervention Service (CSIS).

We are looking for individuals who are empathic and respectful, and who have an interest in helping others in a time of personal crisis and distress. Volunteers complete a 40-hour training program through Mental Health America of Greater Indianapolis (MHA Indy) and are certified to work as a volunteer Clinical Associate, answering phone calls and text messages through the CSIS.

2014 Training Dates:

Training consists of forty (40) hours of instruction over six (6) classes held at the MHA Indy office (301 East 38th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46205) within an eleven (11) day period.

February Session: Wednesday, February 19th - Saturday, March 1st

May Session: Wednesday, May7th - Saturday, May 17th

July Session: Wednesday, July 30st - Saturday, August 9th

November Session: Wednesday, November 5th- Saturday, November 15th

See schedule below for specific days and times.


Training to work in the CSIS consists of six (6) classes held over a period of eleven (11) days. Volunteers are trained in crisis and suicide intervention including active listening, how to guide callers to local resources, and basic skills for working a crisis hotline.

In addition, in the days following the end of your class work, you will receive four (4) simulated crisis telephone calls (home role plays) from a trainer. Your performance in each call will be evaluated and the trainer will provide feedback. Upon a satisfactory assessment of your home role play skills, training concludes with your staffing a three hour shift in which you will take live crisis calls under the supervision of the program director. Upon successful completion you will have earned the title of Clinical Associate (CA) and will begin working on the 24/7 Crisis Line and/or Texting Service.

*Please note: attendance at every class for the duration of the training is mandatory. Classes will begin and end promptly. Lunch will be provided on Friday and Saturdays as well as light suppers on Wednesday and Mondays. On the first day of class fee of $40 will be collected to offset the costs of meals and materials that we provide.

The daily schedule for each training session is as follows:

• Wednesday: 5:30pm – 9:30pm Introduction to MHA Indy and the CSIS
• Friday: 8:30am – 4:30pm Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) Workshop Part I
• Saturday: 8:30am – 4:30pm Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) Workshop Part II
• Monday: 5:30pm – 9:30pm CSIS skills training Part I
• Wednesday: 5:30pm – 9:30pm CSIS skills training Part II
• Saturday: 8:30am – 4:30pm CSIS skills training Part III

Click here to complete our volunteer application.

For more information about our training and requirements see our informational brochure (click here), review the information below and/or email Mike Dunn at mdunn@mhaindy.net.

Time Commitment

Traditionally, volunteers commit to work six (6) hours weekly for one year; however, modifications to the schedule may be made to accommodate the individual needs of the volunteer. The 6 hour requirement can be met through a single six (6)-hour shift or two (2), three (3)-hour shifts on either the Telephone Line and/or the Texting Line.

College Credit

If you’re a college student, you may be able to earn college credits for completing an internship through the Crisis and Suicide Intervention Service. Check with your advisor for details.


Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older.

Also, a telephone and internet access are both required. Crisis calls are directed to your telephone. Crisis texts are accessed from an online computer. Scheduling, making referrals and call reporting are done through an easy to use website, for which training and support is provided. Crisis calls will be directed to the telephone number you provide us so you can work from any private, quiet location.


In 1970 the Community Service Council of Central Indiana, a division of United Way of Central Indiana, collaborated with MHA Indy to address the needs of those suffering from mental illness or family violence.  The Crisis & Suicide Intervention Service was initiated to provide a single point of contact for callers in need of support, immediate crisis intervention, and/or information and referral.  Because MHA Indy is not a direct service provider of mental health treatment, the agency has the neutrality to provide callers with information and options regarding the wide array of services within the community without bias.  MHA Indy is certified through the American Association of Suicidology (AAS).


To receive more information, request application, or inquire about dates for the next training session, please contact:

Mike Dunn
Director of Crisis and Suicide Intervention
Mental Health America of Greater Indianapolis
Email: mdunn@mhaindy.net
Phone: 317-251-0005 ext. 1010