I'd look at IMAlive. A lot of the volunteers are extremely friendly and helpful and the center is pretty new, just launched in Summer 2011. If you want any more info about them that you can't find on their site, let me know in a pm and I'll answer as many questions as I can!
perhaps a good idea might be for people who have been in a dark place but are not longer there (or at least not so dark) - and people who really need a chat asap to be able to swap msn or google talk or something - so that anyone who wants to talk to someone straight away - can do so, I think there must be a lot of people who would also find it hard to call a phone line,and much easier to just kinda air things out and have someone 'listen' via chat?
It might be good for anyone in crisis, to be able to come here and straight away have access to contact anyone who is currently online, to chat to? Along with some other links and suggestions if there is no one online at that time (given everyones prolly in diff time zones)
what do you think? Perhaps in the same area of the site people could volunteer to fill 'shifts' where they will commit to being there for anyone who needs it, to chat?
I know that the general public on a site like this are not the same as qualified professionals - but seems to me if someone is not comfortable going to a 'qualified professional' then coming to a site like this and findind someone they can chat with for a bit, may make a huge difference in what they decide to do that day/night? If concerned about people doing harm with that the moderators could always screen out potential volunteers maybe?