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Regulating And Training Volunteers And Staff Manning Suicide Counselling Or Responder Hotlines

Type: Parliamentary Questions

Topic(s): Social Service Agencies & Partners, Social Service Professionals


Mr Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim asked the Minister for Social and Family Development whether the Ministry regulates and trains volunteers and staff manning suicide counselling or responder hotlines on the appropriate handling of cases especially when it involves children.

Answer

The Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) operates a 24-hour hotline which provides suicide counselling and response. The hotline is funded by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS).

2. SOS has a selection process for staff and volunteers. Upon selection, staff and volunteers undergo a rigorous hotline training programme which includes e-learning modules, lessons by experienced trainers and one-to-one supervised learning. They are required to undergo a final assessment before deployment.

3. When deployed, volunteers manning the hotlines are overseen by a staff member who can assist with more complex cases. Volunteers and staff also undergo refresher training to ensure that standards are maintained.