Volunteers & Interns

Our roots are as a volunteer program and we continue to depend on the skills and dedication of our volunteers still.

 

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Become A Volunteer

Our staff of 20 is assisted by nearly 200 active volunteers. The crisis lines are staffed by trained professionals and award-winning volunteers.

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Volunteer Opportunities

Grief Counselor
Trained volunteers provide peer counseling and support to children, teens, and adults who are mourning the death of a loved one. Individual counseling is conducted in our Walnut Creek office and when needed in the home of a grieving person. Group counseling is conducted at our agency and at sites around the county. A seven-week training program prepares volunteers to begin helping.

During training, volunteers receive a free, one-hour screening from a community mental health professional. Oftentimes volunteers have suffered the death of a loved one themselves and want to help others cope with loss. This screening ensures that prospective volunteers are able to be effective grief counselors. We work to ensure sufficient healing time has passed before they attempt to counsel others.

After training, volunteers are assigned clients who live in their proximity for easy access. Spanish-speaking volunteers are in especially high demand to serve Spanish-speaking families.

Grief counseling volunteers must be 21 or older, complete our grief counseling training program, pass a free screening from an outside mental health professional, pass a Livescan criminal background check (paid by the Crisis Center), and adhere to our ethics and confidentiality policies. Training class information is available by contracting admin@crisis-center.org.

Mental Health Screener
About 25 licensed psychologists, therapists, and clinical social workers donate their time annually to conduct free, one-hour, face-to-face screenings of each person seeking to become a crisis line or grief counseling volunteer at the Contra Costa Crisis Center. The screenings usually are held in the mental health professional’s office, at a time that is convenient for both the screener and the prospective volunteer. Afterward, the screener submits a brief 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 emotional 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.

Crisis Line Counselor
Crisis line volunteers provide counseling and emotional support to people who are abused, depressed, grieving, suicidal, homeless, or mentally ill. Some volunteers have professional mental health backgrounds, but many do not. A 60+ hour training program teaches new volunteers everything they need to be effective on a crisis line.

After classroom and mandatory training, volunteers work an average of one four-hour shift per week. Clinical staff is available to consult on difficult calls and to debrief afterwards.

Crisis line volunteers must be 21 or older, complete our crisis line training program, pass a free screening from an outside mental health professional, agree to volunteer for one year, and adhere to our ethics and confidentiality policies. Training classes are held approximately four times per year. Contact admin@crisis-center.org for more information.

Thrift Shop Worker
Leftovers Thrift Shop is an auxiliary of the Contra Costa Crisis Center. Founded in 1976 and staffed entirely by volunteers, it raises money to support the Crisis Center’s work.

Volunteers do everything at Leftovers and many talents are needed. This includes sorting, pricing, displaying, and selling all merchandise, which varies from clothing and books to household items, jewelry, and fine linens.

The shop is located at 2333 Boulevard Circle near downtown Walnut Creek. Store hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information about volunteering, call the shop during operating hours at 925-930-9393.

Clinical Internships
MFT Registered Interns encouraged to apply for our 2014-15 program.

This program offers interns a professional, supportive, and meaningful learning experience. Weekly individual and group supervision is provided, as well as monthly didactic training on relevant clinical topics. Interns receive office space and materials to conduct sessions, access to phone messaging system for client contact, and emergency clinical consultation with licensed staff as needed. An initial orientation to agency, policies, business and clinical procedures is also provided.

A background in working with complex grief, loss, trauma, mood disorders, addiction, dual diagnosis, and comorbid conditions is preferred. Applicants must be seasoned post-graduates with a minimum of 1000 BBS hours completed. This internship requires a commitment of 28 hours per week, spread over 4-5 days per week. This includes 10-20 face-to-face client contact hours, a 4-hour shift per week on the crisis lines, and supervision/didactic training.