Nightline at QUB

Nightline QUB, Contributed

Nightline provides an important service to university students, and after a long year of setting up, we are finally recruiting volunteers! Many students in Belfast may not know what Nightline is or what we do, but there are currently 36 Nightlines covering over 90 universities and colleges in the UK and Ireland. Over 1.5 million students have access to a Nightline service; as of this year we were the only Russell Group University that did not provide this service.

So, what is Nightline?

Nightline is a student listening service, open at night and run by students for students. Every night of term, student volunteers answer calls, emails, instant messages, texts and talk in person to their fellow university students about anything that’s troubling them. As the specially trained Nightline volunteers are students, they can directly empathise with their callers’ problems. All Nightline services follow five core principles: confidentiality; anonymity; non-judgemental; non-directional; non-advisory policies.

Why Do we Need Nightline?

For most students their time at university is a positive experience, however for some it can be characterized by periods of stress, anxiety, loneliness and depression. Nightlines offer university students a safe space to talk about their feelings or whatever’s troubling them without fear of being judged or ridiculed. Whilst the first Nightline was set up to reduce student suicides, Nightlines today receive calls from students troubled by a variety of issues: from academic stress, bullying or debt to loneliness, depression or bereavement; from arguments with flatmates or worries about a friend, to addictions, eating disorders or self-harm; relationship or family problems to sexuality, sexual abuse or abortion. Nothing is too big or small to contact Nightline about – whatever’s troubling a caller, Nightline is there to listen.

How can you Volunteer?

We are currently in the recruitment process for new volunteers. To become a listening volunteer and take calls from students, you are required to attend two training weekends; one in December and one in January. Once you are fully qualified, you will spend one night, every two weeks answering calls. There are other ways to volunteer, however. Because of the strict confidentiality policy, publicity volunteers are very important to spread the word about Nightline. There are also many administrative roles you can take on such as Social Media Officer and Events Coordinator.

If this is something you would be interested in, you can contact Bronagh Murray (bmurray15@qub.ac.uk) or Robert Stewart (rstewart38@qub.ac.uk) for more information.

Check Out London’s Nightline on Twitter for more information: https://twitter.com/londonnightline

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