There was a growth of 109% in the volume of calls made to Niteline, the confidential and anonymous listening service run by and for students in Trinity and other Dublin colleges, in September 2015 compared to September 2014, Trinity News has learned.
The service operates during term time from 9pm to 2:30am 7 days a week, allowing students to contact volunteers via phone and online instant messaging.
Speaking on behalf of the service, one of the coordinators, who must remain anonymous due to the nature of their work, also told Trinity News that 43% percent of calls received by Niteline were about “mental health related issues” in the 2014-15 academic year. They said that the Niteline committee felt this was “an important piece of information to highlight.”
Further, they explained that the 2014-15 year saw a levelling-out in the volume of calls received by Niteline overall, after a large increase of 85% in the 2013-14 academic year. “In the 2014-15 year, our call volume, which pertains to both online and phone listening, levelled out to a slight increase, not like the increase seen in 2013-14 year,” they said.
They attributed the growth in call volume in 2013-14 to increased awareness and popularity of Niteline’s online listening services: “The popularity of online listening introduced in 2012 encouraged more students to avail of our service.”
According to the coordinator, Niteline provides “an open blank space where people can talk freely without the judgmental aspects of personal conversation with friends and family about important issues in their lives.”
However, they highlighted the lack of alternative nighttime services for students. “There is nothing available to students so immediately in need after-hours [other] than Niteline,” they said.
If you wish to contact Niteline, free-phone 1800 793 793 or contact them via online messaging at: http://niteline.ie/onlinelistening.php between 9pm and 2:30am.