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Be a “Lifeline” of Hope… Community Helpline is a 42 year old confidential listening, crisis an...

Community Helpline Crisis Referral Hotline

May 6th, 2013

Be a “Lifeline” of Hope…
Community Helpline is a 42 year old confidential listening, crisis and referral hotline that began in Palos Verdes by residents, mental health professionals, and clergy.

When most hotlines have specialized (domestic violence, suicide etc) Community Helpline has remained a general hotline, answering calls for a simple referral, someone lonely without a support system to more serious issues of
depression, anxiety and crisis/suicide calls. Community Helpline is the first referral Suicide Prevention Services (Didi Hirsch) gives to callers after assessing the need for a “warm/talk line”.

Volunteers are required to attend the 6 week 45 hour “Listening & Communications” training. Volunteers learn “empathetic non- judgmental reflective listening” and mental health professionals speak on caller issues like depression, anxiety, substance abuse, domestic violence and suicide. Volunteers learn by role-play the skills necessary to give the callers the best outcome possible; and are trained not to give advice or any personal information by setting good personal boundaries. These are important skills on the hotline and life changing skills personally.

One of the Helplines’ best assets is local Marriage and Family Therapist, Vicki Scrimger. Vicki became a volunteer listener over 33 years ago and Helpline was the impetus for her to become a therapist. Vicki is one of many speakers who dedicate their time to help train new volunteers. She is clear that the Helpline taught her more “listening skills” than any class in graduate school or therapist certification.

After the training volunteers are required to commit 9 hours per month for one (1) year.

Community Helpline is available for callers 23/7 where between 10pm-6am the lines forward to the Department of Mental Health’s L. A. Warmline at 855-9LA-WARM.

The Listening & Communications training is offered 3 times a year; spring, summer and fall. The next session (summer 2013) is June 25- Aug 1 on Tuesday & Thursday from 6-8:30p in Redondo Beach. To request an application please call 310-793-1415 or email .

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