LGBTQI+ Youth Online Crisis Counselor

Volunteers Of America Inc Voa Western Washington

Job Description


About Care Crisis Response Services (CCRS):

CCRS is a 24/7 crisis center that provides suicide prevention/intervention, crisis intervention, and professional consultation services, including triaging requests for behavioral health evaluations. We provide brief crisis counseling and assist the community and clients in determining what services are most appropriate for the current behavioral health crisis. We operate regional and 988 crisis lines throughout the state of Washington. Recognizing and nurturing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is an integral part of our mission at Volunteers of America, Western Washington. In addition, valuing and fostering a diverse and inclusive culture are embedded in our values. Our mission is to empower, serve and strengthen communities in need, guided by core values of respect, allyship, integrity, stewardship, and empathy.

General Function:

The primary responsibility of this full-time, hourly position is to answer online chats and texts originating from 988/The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline under the LGBTQI+ Youth subnetwork. The Online Crisis Counselor is responsible for providing non-judgmental, empathic, emotional crisis support by utilizing a crisis intervention model (RIDES) as well as suicide intervention techniques as appropriate during an online exchange with a Visitor who is in a self-defined crisis. Online Crisis Counselors are responsible for actively participating in welcoming and coaching new counselors and other duties as assigned by the Program Coordinator. The Online Crisis Counselor will provide support and consultation to new counselors as needed and is responsible for performing imminent risk and mandated reporting procedures according to policy.


Principal Activities:

  • Answer incoming chats and texts and provide crisis intervention, suicide prevention and brief supportive counseling to clients who are in emotional distress and/or considering suicide
  • Provide population-specific and Trauma Informed Care to clients accessing the LGBTQI+ Youth Chat & Text service
  • Conduct safety assessments of clients according to agency/department policies, funding and accreditation requirements, and Lifeline Best Practices
  • Manage interactions with clients to ensure appropriate level of support is provided in an efficient manner
  • Initiate police intervention procedures if it is determined that a Visitor is at immediate risk of harm to self or others
  • Operate within legal requirements of applicable state and federal laws including HIPAA confidentiality requirements and mandated reporting (i.e. CPS, APS referrals, Tarasoff Duty to Warn)
  • Work with the online crisis counselor team and Shift Leads in a collaborative decision-making process in complex cases
  • Consult with Shift Leads and Master’s level Crisis Shift Managers on any issues or questions about compliance, including mandatory reporting, HIPAA, Tarasoff Duty to Warn, imminent risk, etc.
  • Utilize Microsoft Teams to engage with remote staff and 988 Crisis Shift Leads
  • Attend staff meetings and trainings designed to increase clinical skills and encourage professional development
  • Act as mentors and coaches to new staff

Effect on End Results:

  • Decrease the level of a Visitor’s crisis by engaging the Visitor and utilizing crisis intervention and de-escalation skills
  • Reduce the risk for suicide by utilizing intervention techniques
  • Respond to chats efficiently so Visitors are able to engage with an Online Crisis Counselor in the shortest amount of time possible
  • Provide essential and critical crisis support to the high-risk population of LGBTQI+ Youth



  • Bachelor’s Degree in a social science/behavioral health or related field
  • One (1) year experience in a mental health or related position
  • Washington state credentialing required upon hire
  • Crisis intervention experience strongly preferred
  • Training in suicide prevention and intervention strongly preferred
  • Excellent computer skills including the ability to type quickly with few errors and be comfortable utilizing technology to provide online support
  • Strong communications skills – both written and verbal. Experience communicating via instant messaging preferred
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision
  • Ability to work cooperatively with members of the general community and as a clinical team member
  • Ability to take ownership of decisions and clinical feedback from direct supervisor
  • Flexibility and ability to adapt to changes in the work environment and job duties
  • Ability to take the initiative and seek information from available resources
  • Demonstrated respect for diversity and understanding of issues faced by LGBTQI+ youth

Physical Demands/Working Conditions:

The physical demands are representative of those that must be met by an employee in a business office environment to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with different abilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to read, speak, stand, walk, sit and use a computer keyboard and monitor
  • Must be able to use computers and communicate effectively with staff and volunteers
  • Must be able to reach above head and perform repetitive movements
  • Must be able to drive or have reliable transportation


  • Vacation and Sick Time: accruals are based on hours worked, available to use after 30 days of employment.
  • Holidays: 8 paid per year
  • Medical, Dental, and Vision
  • Health Savings Account (HSA)
  • Flexible Savings Account (FSA) – medical & dependent care
  • Free Employee Assistance program
  • 403(b) Retirement Plan matching
  • Paid travel time between clients; Mileage reimbursement; and free trainings

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