National Alliance on Mental Illness
  • 14-May-2019 to 30-Sep-2019 (EST)
  • Helpline
  • Arlington, VA, USA
  • Internship/Volunteer

Are you interested in making a meaningful difference in people's lives? 

The NAMI Information HelpLine is contacted over 50,000 times a year by people across the U.S. who are affected by mental illness and needing help. HelpLine Volunteer/Intern Information and Resource Referral Specialists provide a vital service to the NAMI community by responding to inquiries by phone, email, written correspondence and social media posts, and working on special projects as needed to provide information about mental health conditions and treatment options, NAMI education and support programs, and other mental health resources are provided along with referrals to NAMI State and NAMI Affiliate organizations, mental health agencies and support organizations.

Volunteers/interns extend empathy, understanding, respect and emotional support to everyone contacting the NAMI HelpLine. In return, you'll gain extensive first-hand experience that allows you to develop an in-depth understanding of the people living with and issues surrounding mental illness.

Serving in the NAMI office in Arlington, VA, volunteers/interns are required to commit to a minimum of one, 4-hour shift per week during regular HelpLine hours (10:00 am - 2:00 pm or 2:00 - 6:00 pm; Mon-Fri), for the duration of six months or more following completion of training. Training consists of advanced reading modules (@ 5 hours), plus four, 4-hour training shifts to be completed over a one- or two-week period immediately prior to assuming regularly scheduled shift.

Professional Qualifications:

  • A student or professional of mental health, and/or someone with "lived," personal experience with a mental health condition and recovery - either as a person living with a mental health condition or a someone caring for a loved one living with a mental health condition
  • Excellent communication skills (oral and written), particularly in listening and ability to convey a respectful, empathetic tone
  • Preferred experience in a call-center or service-oriented position
  • Analytical ability with problem-solving skills and resourcefulness for assessing callers' needs and finding correct resources in a timely manner
  • Basic knowledge of mental illnesses, treatments, recovery, and mental health care systems with an interest in learning more
  • Minimum basic skills with MS Office (Word, Outlook, Excel) and social media; Intermediate keyboarding skills with minimum typing speed of 45 wpm
  • Ability to conduct basic internet research quickly while simultaneously managing phone conversation
  • Bilingual English/Spanish ability strongly welcomed

Personal Qualities:

  • Demonstrated reliability, professionalism and punctuality
  • Respect and compassion for people affected by mental health conditions with desire to help others facing mental health challenges
  • Ability to manage emotionally stressful situations with positive spirit and open-mindedness
  • Passion to learn about mental health conditions, resources, and behavioral health system
  • Willingness to take initiative to seek help when needed, and ability to accept and implement constructive feedback
  • Maturity and patience to communicate effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and experiences while demonstrating empathy to facilitate respectful dialogue with callers who may be in emotional distress or active psychosis¬†
National Alliance on Mental Illness
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