Successful applicants are asked to attend a basic training program of 69 hours. This consists of seminars/conference calls, group work, and counseling practice. Trainees will also complete an apprenticeship on the Lifeline. This consists of at least 24 hours of supervised work (broken down into six shifts). These shifts could be on the telephone or through livechat.
Beginning in September 2017, TELL Lifeline expanded our service to offer support through Live chat in addition to the phone service. Currently chat support is only available at night on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
If you are successful in completing the training program and the apprenticeship, you will be invited to join TELL Lifeline as a volunteer Lifeline support worker.
This training is of a similar standard to that conducted by crisis lines in major centers around the world. A certificate is awarded upon satisfactory completion of the course.
The training program covers a wide range of essential skills and topics so it is essential to maintain regular and punctual attendance at the training sessions. There are three mandatory sessions that take place on Saturdays (spring course) or Sundays (fall course). These can be joined either in person (in Tokyo) or online, but we ask if you are based in the Kanto area to attend in person if at all possible. Trainees based outside of the Kanto region have no option but to join online so we need to prioritise their access to the online sessions. Weekly training sessions are offered online only.
The standard cost of training is 35,000 yen (this is approximately what it costs us to train each person). This amount can be adjusted in cases of special need; payment can also be made in installments.
We understand that we are charging a fee to train for volunteer work, and that this may seem strange. We do this because we are a non-profit organization, and we must meet all costs incurred while running the training. The training does not generate any profits; it only meets part of its own associated costs.
We also feel confident that the quality of the training is high and that it can provide participants with important personal learning and skills development. This fee is also quite reasonable compared to prices for similar educational or skills courses that could be taken, either here in Japan or in other countries.
Naturally, however, we do not want this cost to be a deterrent to you joining us. If paying this fee represents a significant problem for you, please contact the Lifeline Training Coordinator and discuss your situation. We are very understanding and do not want to miss out on a good trainee!
Once a trainee has completed training and the apprenticeship, and has been invited to join TELL as a Lifeline Support Worker, we ask that you work at least two shifts a month, as well as attend one 2-hour supervisory meeting each month. Supervision meetings can either be joined in person or online. In practice, volunteers who become support workers will commit to a total of 10-13 hours per month to TELL, depending on whether they are working on the phone or through livechat.
As the time commitment on the part of both TELL and you is quite extensive, we require that applicants who are interested in volunteering as support workers are able to commit to at least one year of service after completing their training.
TELL Lifeline Support workers are well-supported in their role, through comprehensive training, in-service workshops, and the availability of supervision. Each support worker is assigned to 2 supervisors, who are also volunteers. These supervisors have extensive experience on the line and are trained to take on this role. Support workers participate in a 2-hour monthly supervisory group which generally has between 8-12 members. It is necessary to attend these sessions to remain active on the Lifeline. Supervision is offered either in person or online.
Supervision is designed to assist you in your role by providing you with a forum to debrief and process your experience on the line, as well as enabling you to focus and improve on your counseling skills.
Anonymity and Confidentiality:
As the English-speaking community is very small, we ask all Lifeline support workers to remain anonymous and keep their role a secret from anyone who does not absolutely need to know. This is because we are concerned that people who are aware that you are on the line will feel inhibited about contacting TELL themselves, and will be denied access to the service.
This extends also to your application: we ask that you don’t share your intention to apply for the TELL training course with others, except your partner, children, or someone who absolutely needs to know in order for you to be able to take the training.
We also have a very professional approach to confidentiality in all aspects of TELL: the calls/chats, the location of the phone room, and the identity of other volunteers. Before you begin the training, you will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement stating that you will respect this confidentiality.
The Application Process:
- Please ensure that you have read all the enclosed material carefully before applying. If you have any questions that you would like to clarify before you apply, please feel free to call the Lifeline Training Coordinator at 03-4550-1191 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please send in completed application forms to the Lifeline Training Coordinator. You can do this by e-mail by filling out the forms below and then sending them as an attachment back to email@example.com
- If your application is accepted, an interview will be arranged. To assist in making appointments, please let us know when you are generally available for an interview—i.e., mornings/afternoons/evenings/which days of the week.
- Since we have limited spaces for each training session, we encourage you to respond early for the training session of your choice. The deadline for the fall training is mid-September, while the spring training closes mid-February.