The students of Trinity College Dublin, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and the National College for Art and Design have been able to receive help from Niteline, a confidential service for students, providing them with support, listening, and information, since 1994. Now, Niteline is being brought into the 21st century with a new instant messaging service, which will allow students to communicate with a volunteer via the Internet.
Niteline is run by students, for students and among its promises are that it is confidential, anonymous, non-judgmental, and non-directive. Ultimately, it will not repeat information, judge their callers, or direct their callers to take a particular course of action.
The help line receives a wide variety of calls, ranging from loneliness to rape and abuse to addiction to academic concerns to relationship issues to body image issues to family issues, and everything in between. Describing its services, Niteline says, “Callers will have the time and space to talk through anything they would like to, no matter how big or small. You can call if you simply feel like having a chat or need the number for a taxi after a night out.”
An anonymous publicity officer told The University Times that an instant messaging service is something that it has been trying to implement for almost ten years. The Niteline websites assures that “with Online Listening, our principles remain the same; Niteline is totally committed to confidentially and is here to listen and provide support, whatever your situation.”
The new instant messaging format will provide a convenient alternative for those who prefer electronic communications, which is common for today’s students, who grew up in a computer-oriented world.
Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli