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.
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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
  • 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
  • Initial training was developed in collaboration with volunteers
    themselves, college counselling services and an external organisation 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 for further details on
affiliation fees and terms of affiliation.