About 25 licensed psychologists, therapists, and clinical social workers donate their time to conduct free, one-hour, face-to-face screenings of every person who wants to become a crisis line or grief counseling volunteer at our agency. The screenings usually are held in the screener's office, at a time that's convenient for both the screener and the prospective volunteer. Afterward, the screener submits a written, confidential assessment to our staff.
The purpose of the screening varies slightly depending on whether a prospective volunteer is training for our crisis lines or for our grief counseling program. On our crisis lines, the screening ensures that people have the emtoional stability to answer crisis calls and can be as nonjudgmental as possible. In our grief counseling program, the screening ensures that if a prospective volunteer has suffered a personal death, enough time has elapsed to enable the person to focus on the client's needs rather than his or her personal needs.