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Text to connect with our BC peer support network!

Leadership Team
Lean On Me: BC

Erin Welch
Head of Training
Erin is a senior majoring in Neuroscience. She loves theatre, cooking, green tea, and she's usually the one jumping into puddles on rainy days, much to the exasperation of her friends. Erin also works as a global mentor through OIP, as an usher at Robsham, and as a research assistant in the CANLab. She hopes to pursue a career in Clinical Psychology.

Ally Lardner
Chapter Coordinator
Ally Lardner can't believe she's a senior already! Talk to her about books and plays she can add to her never-ending reading list. After BC, Ally would like to use her degree in Applied Psychology and Human Development to do advocacy work, specifically in the field of mental health counseling.

Sophia Shieh
Head of Outreach & Partnerships
Sophia is a Junior in the Applied Psychology BA/MSW program with a minor in Medical Humanities. She was born in NYC but mainly grew up in Taiwan, and has lived in 10+ cities across several countries. In her free time, she loves to play with her hedgehog and hang out around Gasson. She hopes to be a clinician one day and is interested in intersectionality issues and trauma-informed practice.

Ainsley Kohler
Head of Marketing
Ainsley is a sophomore at Boston College studying Neuroscience and Chemistry. Hailing all the way from Miami, she has recently completed her EMT-B certification and enjoys spending time with friends, getting to explore Boston, and a good cup of coffee from Hillside. Ainsley hopes to pursue a degree in psychiatric medicine after she leaves BC.

Sanjana Ratakonda
Supporter Coordinator
Sanjana is a Junior studying Biology and Global Public Health. She was born in New Jersey, but grew up in India for 5 years. She enjoys hanging out with friends, dancing, and good food. Along with Lean on Me, Sanjana is active in GlobeMed and Emergency Medical Services (BCEMS). In the future, she hopes to pursue medicine and place an emphasis on the holistic treatment of both the mind and body.

Lean On Me strengthens communities by providing peer-to-peer text lines that allow for easy access to confidential non-crisis support. We envision a world where anyone can seek and receive emotional support.
How Our Hotline Works

Text Our Hotline

Find your community's hotline number and text in whatever you'd like to talk about! This can range from brief messages such as "All of my friends are busy and I want someone to talk to" to a longer, more serious message. Our supporters are here to listen and be there for you – the topic is your choice!

Match With a Supporter

Once a text is received, all active Supporters will be informed that a request has come in, and within a few minutes you will be matched with one!

Receive a Reply

The expected wait time is just under 5 minutes. While the service is available at any time, please remember that Supporters are your peers, who lead their own busy lives and occasionally remember to sleep. So the wait time for a conversation sent in at 4:30am may be longer, and we thank you for understanding that!

Have a Conversation

You can now have a conversation with the Supporter! Feel free to text for as long as you like. If you ever feel uncomfortable with a Supporter text “/flag”, and we’ll match you with another! For a full list of commands, text "/help" to the hotline. Supporters never see your slash commands.

End the Conversation

Conversations last for as long as you would like them to, and you can end a conversation with a Supporter at any time by texting "/bye" to the hotline. If you text again you will be matched with a new Supporter and they will not see what you wrote before.

Provide Feedback

Once a conversation ends, you will be asked to provide feedback, helping make the service better for future users. By no means is this mandatory, but we would really appreciate it. Your input will have a very real effect on the future of Lean On Me, and on changes we make to the service!
Frequently Asked Questions

Supporters are volunteers who share your experiences and are excited to converse with you! They are your peers, as determined by the context of the hotline. (For example, the BC hotline's supporters are all BC students.) While they are not formally licensed or certified, they do go through our Supporter Training

We're always looking for more people to join the team! If you're interested in applying to be a peer supporter, please go to your chapter's website for more information. If you'd like to be part of the Lean On Me organizational team or software development squad, please email us!

If you're part of a group that is interested in having a Lean On Me hotline, please email us and our team will get back to you as soon as possible. Our service is still in the development phase, but we are looking to expand to other universities as well as other organizations in the future, and would love to start a conversation with you now!

Our goal is to create a low-barrier, stigma-free, peer support network. That means that we take steps to ensure that when you text in, neither you nor the peer you match with see each other’s phone number. While we know how many repeat users we’ve had, we won’t know who those users are, where they live etc. (unless you choose to disclose that information, of course). That also means that we’re peers, not professionals, and maintain some information — including your phone number and conversation history — so that we can transfer you to a mental health professional if the Supporter you’re speaking to feels out of their depth. Because we care about your health and safety, we might also give your contact information to the authorities in certain cases.

We are not a suicide hotline, nor are we trained to deal with crisis-level situations. We’re just kind peers willing to listen and talk, but if you need urgent help or find yourself in a crisis, please call 9-1-1, or text “HOME” to the National Crisis Textline at 741-741.

Feedback is always welcome! If you have a suggestion, please drop us a line at team@lean0n.me! We are constantly thinking about how to improve the Lean On Me network and technology, so we would love to hear from you.

Becoming a Peer Supporter is easy. Take 4 minutes to fill out an application and you will be 33% there.

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