TELL Japan

Phone Counselor Training

Becoming a Lifeline Phone Counselor

We’re behind you all the way with the training and give you the support you need to volunteer on the Lifeline. Your training will teach you how to actively listen, be non-judgmental and empathetic to callers without being overwhelmed yourself. You’ll be surrounded by people with the same motivation as you.

What’s in it for you?

  • Personal and professional growth
  • Potential career opportunities and improving your CV
  • Giving back to your community
  • Ongoing support in your work with Lifeline
  • Learning new skills and experiencing new things
  • Meeting new people and making new friends
  • Belonging to the TELL community
  • Training and development opportunities
  • Knowing that by volunteering you really are making a difference!


“I’m not sure I’m the right kind of person…”

After you have submitted your application with us, we’ll invite you to a selection interview to go over the training in more detail with you and discuss any questions and concerns you may have.

This helps us get to know each other, and both decide if volunteering on the Lifeline is right for you.

“I don’t have much spare time”

Training as a Lifeline volunteer takes place over a nine-week period. Most of the training is conducted online at times that suit you, with three weekend workshops. You will have the opportunity to join group discussion forums, watch video presentations and practice your skills with trained Lifeline volunteers through telephone role-plays or in-room discussions.

After you have graduated from the basic training you will undertake an apprenticeship on the Lifeline where you will receive additional support and guidance by experienced trainers and phone counselors.

Once you have graduated to a Lifeline Phone Counselor we ask for a 10-hour commitment per month for a minimum of 12 months. This is two four-hour shifts each month at times that suit your schedule and two hours of group support and supervision.

“I’m under 21 years old”

You do need to be over 21 to be a phone counselor volunteer for TELL Lifeline.

Some support roles can be done under 21, so it’s worth enquiring what vacancies we have. There is no upper age limit.

“I am not a native English speaker”

Many of our phone counselors are not native English speakers. But you do need to be relatively fluent in speaking English.

“I actually just need a placement for my counseling course. Can I do this at TELL?”

It takes time to develop the skills and knowledge you’ll need to be a phone counselor with the Lifeline, which means that this role is not appropriate for those looking for short-term placements of less than a year.

We invest in selecting, training and supporting our volunteers, so we’re looking for people who want to stay with us for a while.

To inquire about work experiences, internships, and other volunteer opportunities, please contact us.

Still not sure about becoming a phone counselor?

If you have any queries about becoming a TELL Lifeline phone counselor, please call 03-4550-1191 or email:

Click here to Apply for Phone Counselor Training

Spring 2017 Training Dates

Tokyo: Feb. 25th – May 20th

In person mandatory sessions: Feb. 25, Apr. 8, May 20

Kansai: Feb. 25th – May 20th

In person mandatory sessions: Feb. 25, Apr. 1, May 20

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