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Digital Volunteer for SHOUT - a UK text messaging support service

Mental Health Innovations

An exciting opportunity to volunteer from home in the field of digital mental health. Mental Health Innovations (MHI) is a UK-based charity focused on using data to develop innovative digital mental health products. In 2018, in partnership with Crisis Text Line US (CTL), we launched Shout, the UK’s first 24/7 text service, for anyone who might be struggling and needing support. Shout operates on a sophisticated, constantly-evolving digital platform that provides a much-needed additional mental health service for the UK population. We already have a team of Clinical Supervisors, Coaches and Crisis Practitioners based in New Zealand and, together with their colleagues based in the UK, they work alongside approximately 2,800 UK-based Shout Volunteers who power the service, working from home on their laptops, supporting people struggling with their mental health, who text, for free, into the service. The anonymised data we collate gives us unique insights into mental health trends in order that we might help improve people’s lives.

Due to the 24/7 nature of the service and the challenges associated with the availability of UK-based volunteers through the UK night, we’re looking to recruit a team of NZ-based volunteers to support the running of the platform primarily between 0900 and 1900 (NZ time).

Every volunteer is assigned a Coach, undertakes online training, and works under a Clinical Supervisor each time they log on to the platform.

This is a completely new type of volunteering that offers you the chance to: ● Have an impact on people’s lives and make a difference by
 helping texters communicate about their challenges, listening without judgement, acknowledging what texters are experiencing and supporting them to feel calmer and able to make a plan ● Learn communication, problem solving and crisis management skills – recognised by employers, unis and colleges as essential skills. In a world of rapidly growing telehealth services, this volunteering provides opportunities to engage in the field of telehealth and develop skills and experience relevant to many professions ● Enjoy being part of a pioneering team ● Volunteer from home ● Access ongoing professional development supported by a dedicated Coach

But, being a Crisis Volunteer isn’t for everyone.
You need to: ● Be over 18 ● Be resilient and mentally robust to help people in distress ● Commit to 25 hours of online training and then work towards fulfilling 200 total hours of volunteering; that’s 2 – 4 hours volunteering per week for a year ● Have compassion, be kind, and be able to be objective ● Put your own personal views to one side to help the texter; be non-judgemental ● Have a secure web connection, laptop/computer and access to a quiet, private place while you volunteer on the platform ● Provide 2 referees and consent to undergo a background check