Job Purpose

Under supervision by a Helpline Manager, the Helpline Assistant works 4 hours per day on the NAMI SCC (Santa Clara County) Helpline. Drawing on their lived experience with mental health challenges, they respond to the Helpline by offering support, understanding and information about NAMI programs and other resources.

About NAMI Santa Clara County Helpline Help Desk

NAMI Santa Clara County Helpline helps individuals and families improve their lives and advance recovery by listening to their concerns and connecting them with essential resources and services. They extend empathy, understanding, respect and emotional support to everyone contacting the NAMI-Santa Clara County Helpline. Mental health consumers, families and friends may visit, call or email the Helpline during NAMI SCC office hours (currently, Monday – Friday, 10 am – 6 pm).

There are two Helpline shifts: AMs (10 am – 2 pm) and PMs (2 pm – 6 pm). Each shift is staffed on workdays by two Helpline workers. Due to the pandemic, Helpline staff are currently responding to calls and emails. When our offices open to the public, Helpline assistants will also provide support to people who walk-in for support and resources.

Currently, the Helpline is seeking to fill two Helpline Assistant positions (2-5 days a week):  Monday through Friday from 10 am – 2 pm or 2 pm – 6pm as needed. (8 – 20 hours a week).



  • AA degree and/or equivalent experience

Knowledge, Skills and, and abilities

  • Lived Experience as a family member or a peer (Required)
  • Graduate of Family-to-Family or Peer-to-Peer Class (Required)
  • Computer proficiency with database and emails (Required).
  • Ability to commit to at least 4hr-shift/week for 6 months (Required)
  • Be familiar with NAMI programs, basic knowledge of mental health conditions, treatments, resources in Santa Clara County
  • Able to offer compassionate support through active and reflective listening skills to understand the person’s needs and respond appropriately
  • Excellent communication skills (oral and written), particularly in listening and ability to convey a respectful, empathetic tone, over the phone or email communication.
  • Analytical ability with problem-solving skills and resourcefulness for assessing a help seeker’s 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.
  • Ability to conduct basic internet research quickly while simultaneously managing a phone conversation
  • Be willing to take feedback and direction from a supervisor and work collaboratively with Helpline team.
  • Demonstrated reliability, professionalism, and punctuality.
  • Commitment to upholding the mission, vision, and values of NAMI-Santa Clara County

Duties and responsibilities:

The Help Line volunteer’s responsibilities will include but are not limited to the following:

  • Answering incoming calls, emails and responding to voicemails. When the office opens to the public, greeting walk-ins and providing compassionate support in a calm and patient manner.
  • Use active listening skills to understand the person’s needs and respond appropriately
  • Keep detailed documentation on the database
  • May have to respond to crisis and high-risk calls.
  • Attend and participate in regular Helpline staff meetings and training.
  • Respect and compassion for people affected by mental health conditions with desire to help.
  • 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 communication effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and experiences while demonstrating empathy to facilitate respectful dialogue with callers experiencing emotional distress or active psychosis.
  • Debrief challenging calls and other situations as needed, and inform supervisor
  • Adhere to and support the implementation of all policies and procedures, including confidentiality agreements
  • Understanding of and commitment to confidentiality of people who contact the Helpline
  • You will need to follow COVID precautions and maintain the cleanliness of the shared desk space.

How to apply

Please send your resume and a cover letter to for consideration. Kindly note, a Helpline assistant needs to have a “lived” experience and must have graduated from NAMI education class.