Student Placement 


A Student Placement with the Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region helps students (ages 19+) gain valuable experience needed to enter the workforce.  Once you've been through our doors, we are confident that you will find it easier to open other doors for the rest of your life.

Placement students answer all distress and crisis lines and, as a result, speak with callers who are in need of emotional and mental health support as well as crisis intervention.  The experience garnered from this front-line work is complementary to studies in disciplines such as Social Work, Psychology, Criminology, Police Foundations, Paramedics and Health Services, just to name a few!

Note: Students who are eligible to receive credits from their program of study may apply as placement students.  However, it should be noted that, given the amount of time required to complete our training program and placement commitment, not all placements will be an appropriate match with our agency.


Student Development 

As a Placement Student, you will develop & receive:

  • Communication skills
  • Intervention techniques
  • The Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) workshop certification


Before answering our phone lines, all Placement Students must complete our volunteer training program which takes place over the course of 5 to 6 weeks. These training hours are counted as part the overall student placement commitment.  Once the volunteer training program has been completed, students are required to commit to a minimum of 200 hours answering calls for help.  If you feel ready to take on this challenge, fill out our online application to get started!


Additional Benefits

Above & beyond what you will gain as a Placement Student with the Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region, you will receive a letter of reference at the end of your commitment.  This letter of reference has been used by former Distress Centre volunteers in the past to gain acceptance at universities and colleges across Canada, and to secure employment in various police forces and paramedic services.