Suicide Prevention Volunteers Needed

Times Staff Writer

The Suicide Prevention/Intervention project of the West Orange County HOTLINE organization is seeking volunteers to work in its community-education program.

Help is needed in distributing literature, giving talks and writing publicity releases. Volunteers are especially needed to staff the crisis-intervention line. Volunteer telephone counselors, who may be any age from 17 to 70, will be trained in public speaking, crisis intervention and skills regarding conversation, listening and responding.

"Our ultimate goal is to increase public awareness and to help those who are depressed or suicidal," said Patricia Grimes, program director. She said 35,000 people take their own lives each year in the United States, and suicide is the second most frequent cause of death among teen-agers and adults in their early 20s.

Volunteers are required to participate in an extensive 10-week training program and monthly in-service meetings. Professionals in the mental health and other health fields supervise the volunteers, and internships are available for college students.

A six-month commitment is required. Those who complete training will work a minimum of one three-hour shift a week. A $20 materials fee is required.

An orientation meeting will be held at 7 p.m. April 4 at the Los Alamitos Police Department, 3201 Katella Ave. To register, call (213) 594-0960 or (213) 594-0969 or the HOTLINE at (213) 596-5548 or (714) 761-4575.

BIG BROTHERS--Men 20 years and older are needed to become big brothers to troubled youngsters who as a result of divorce, separation or the death of one parent are experiencing difficulty in school, low self-esteem and problems in relationships at home or in the community. Afternoon and evening orientations are offered at the Volunteer Center of Orange County-North. For information, call 526-3301.

The center also needs bingo callers to work Mondays from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. or Friday afternoons at a local retirement home in West Anaheim. In addition, calligraphers are needed to help letter volunteer certificates for the City of Anaheim.

For further information, call the center at the above number from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

STUDENT AID--A volunteer is needed to take notes for a hearing-impaired student enrolled in a computer-programming course and an English class at Cypress College from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through June 15. Knowledge of sign language is not required. Training will be offered. Free parking will be provided in the staff area. Call Carol Wentzel at the college's Disabled Student Center at 826-2220, Ext. 104.

ARTS BOARD--Huntington Beach residents are being sought for membership on the volunteer Allied Arts Board. Actors, sculptors, musicians, painters and dancers are needed to fill two vacated positions.

Residents interested in improving the cultural atmosphere of Huntington Beach should apply at the City Administration Office in City Hall, 2000 Main St., Huntington Beach. For information, call 536-5511.

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