50808: Become a Crisis Volunteer
50808 is a first of its kind for Ireland: a free 24/7 text service, providing everything from a calming chat to immediate support for people going through a mental health or emotional crisis - big or small. Our aim is to provide immediate support in the short term and connect people to resources that will help them into the future.
The 50808 platform connects texters with a volunteer, who is most likely at home, who has been trained to listen, reassure and guide people from a hot moment to a cool calm.
All conversations are anonymous, unless the texter wants to give their first name, and are reviewed in real time by a team of qualified staff supervisors who will support volunteers to listen to and support texters.
The platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) to scan the initial messages from texters for keywords to identify those likely to be at immediate risk and prioritise those conversations in the queue.
50808 is funded by the Health Service Executive (HSE).
Volunteering with 50808
Having launched nationally in June 2020, 50808 is seeking to recruit volunteers.
Volunteers need an ability to listen without judgement, a good internet connection and a private place (usually in their home) to communicate with texters.
Those selected to become volunteers must complete a 34-hour training course over a six-week period and commit to a 4-hour shift on the platform each week for one year.
You can volunteer from anywhere; your sofa, kitchen table, bedroom, office - just as long as it’s private and you won’t be distracted.
You can apply to become a Crisis Volunteer now at www.text50808.ie
Who you are:
You’re kind. You’re a great listener. You’re passionate about supporting people in crisis. You’re open-minded. And you’re dedicated!
What you’ll do:
- Learn key skills such as active listening, collaborative problem solving and crisis management
- Support texters through moments of crisis by responding to text messages on the platform in a non-judgmental way
- Help to roll out this new innovative service in Ireland
- Work alongside volunteers who are social workers, therapists and psychiatrists to sharpen your crisis volunteer skills
- We ask our Crisis Volunteers to commit to 4 hours per week and complete a total of 200 hours over the course of a year. Though of course, we hope you stay longer. It’s a big commitment, and one that people find incredibly rewarding.