ACTS Suicide Services and Helpline

ACTS Suicide Services & Helpline is a private, non-profit agency that provides suicide prevention support in Northern Virginia. The primary component of this program is the crisis intervention hotline, which has an annual call volume of over 40,000. Established in 1981, Helpline is accredited by the Association of Suicidology and answers the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on a backup basis. The content of these calls can range from assisting someone with locating mental health resources to providing emotional support to a grieving caller.

The internship opportunity available to students is the Crisis Listener position, which includes answering crisis calls utilizing de-escalation techniques and intervention models. All interns are also required to complete call logs in a timely manner and assist with other administrative duties, which can include data entry and call log audits. It is expected that applicants will have strong oral communication and interpersonal skills.

Everyone who answers calls is required to complete 40 hours of training, which includes time in the classroom and experiential education. A portion of training hours may be able to count towards the internship depending on when they are completed – this must be worked out with the on-campus supervisor at the start of the internship in alignment with the department policy on internship training hours.

1. Must meet all UMW and Department of Psychological Science internship requirements.
2. Required courses:
• PSYC 211 – Abnormal Psychology
• PSYC 315 – Foundations of Clinical Psychology
3. Recommended courses:
• PSYC 242 – Psychology of Personality

• 42 hours of work per credit hour (most interns do 3 credits with 126 hours of work)
• Grade is based on on-campus supervision, agency evaluation, reflective journal, and a final paper

Agency Contact

Kate Long

Action in Community Though Services
Dumfries, VA 22025
Main office: (703) 291-5730

Interested applicants can apply online at