College Affiliation Guide

What is NiteLine?

  • NiteLine is a late-night peer support service.
  • NiteLine is run by and for third level students.
  • We offer a listening and information service.
  • Students can contact us by phone or instant messaging.
  • We are open 7 nights a week during term-time.
  • We provide a service that is anonymous, confidential, non-judgemental
    and non-directive.
Poster to not be ok
expression of interest

What makes NiteLine different?

  • We are a tailored support service for student mental health.
  • We are open at night and on weekends, when almost all other student services are closed.
  • We take calls about everything from suicide, to how someone’s day went, to how a student can contact their college counselling service.
  • As peers, we don’t tell our callers what to do. We listen, give information if the caller wishes, and support them to make their own decisions.
  • Our affiliated colleges can tailor the information we give out to reflect the support services available in their specific college.
  • We actively recruit students from our affiliated colleges, creating a population of individuals who are highly trained and capable of supporting their peers.

The Statistics

Contacts Per (Phone & Instant Messaging) Year

Most Common Call Topics

  • Mental Health
  • College
  • Stress
  • Loneliness
  • General Chat
  • Relationships
  • Self Harm
  • Suicide
  • Other

How are volunteers trained?

  • Each NiteLine trainee attends 24 hours of initial training in a small group, led by two senior volunteers.
  • This training covers key topics such as active listening, signposting to other services, self-care and dealing with specific issues such as suicide, self-harm and sexual violence.
  • Initial training was developed in collaboration with volunteers themselves, college counselling services and external organisations such as The Samaritans.
  • Senior volunteers practice calls with trainees throughout their training period.
  • At the end of their training, trainees are tested on a number of key skills across both phone and instant messaging. Once a trainee has demonstrated that they have met the necessary standard, they attend one shift without taking any calls.
  • The trainee then becomes a fully-fledged volunteer and is scheduled for shifts with senior volunteers to support them.
  • Volunteers receive ongoing training throughout their time with NiteLine. Ongoing training takes the form of refresher training at the start of each academic year, bi-weekly support meetings throughout the year, a training weekend in the second semester alongside talks from external organisations.

How are volunteers supported?

  • NiteLine has Support Meetings every two weeks throughout the academic year. These Support Meetings are facilitated by a counsellor from one of our affiliated colleges, and provide an opportunity to reflect on difficult calls and learn from one another. Volunteers who miss two consecutive Support Meetings cannot sign up for a shift until they have attended a Support Meeting.
  • NiteLine volunteers never work alone. They are trained to debrief each other after calls and at the end of each shift without breaching a caller’s confidentiality.
  • NiteLine has a dedicated Support Officer who checks in with any volunteers who have taken a difficult call.
  • Our affiliated counsellors provide counselling to any volunteers who have taken a difficult call and would like additional support.

What does NiteLine offer an affiliated college?

  • Access to our late-night listening and information service for students.
  • Workshops for students including “How to Support a Friend” and “Self Care”.
  • College-specific publicity materials to advertise our service to your students.
  • Volunteering opportunities for your students.
  • Bi-annual anonymised statistics on the main issues facing students.
  • NiteLine is funded by our affiliated colleges.
  • The affiliation fee for each college is determined by the number of students.
  • The affiliation fee is generally paid by the college counselling service or student services in each college.

Interested in becoming an affiliated college?

Please contact coordinator@niteline.org for further details on
affiliation fees and terms of affiliation.