Lifeline Support Worker Training

Becoming a Lifeline Support Worker

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 service users 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 role-plays or online 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 support workers.

Once you have graduated to a Lifeline Support worker 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 18 years old”

You do need to be over 18 to be a Support Worker for TELL Lifeline.

Some support roles can be done under the age of 18, so it’s worth inquiring what vacancies we have. There is no upper age limit.

“I am not a native English speaker”

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

“I’m not based in Tokyo”

Following the launch of TELL Chat in 2017, we are now able to welcome volunteers wherever they are located in Japan. Chat shifts are taken from the volunteer’s home so there is no need to travel to a special location, meaning we can train and welcome volunteers from all over Japan.

Volunteers can choose whether to compelte their shifts on the phone or via the chat platform. However, chat is always available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, and we hope to expand this service in the future. If you have questions about how the service works, please contact us.

“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 Lifeline volunteer, 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.

“I am applying for a counselling course. I would like to get a reference based on my experience with TELL. Is this ok?”

Many of our Support Workers have used TELL to support their application to a variety of courses and placements. However, in order for us to be able to write knowledgeably about you and your skills, we need to get to know you and this takes time. TELL will not provide references or recommendations for volunteers until they have spent a year volunteering with us.

Still not sure about becoming a Lifeline Support Worker?

If you have any queries about becoming a TELL Lifeline volunteer, please email:

Related links

Click the Application Form Above

Fall 2022
October 1st – December 11th
Mandatory weekend sessions: Oct 1st or 2nd; Nov 12th or 13th; Dec 11th or 12th
Spring 2023
February 11th – April 23rd
Mandatory weekend sessions: Feb 11th or 12th; Mar 25th or 26th; Apr 22nd or 23rd