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Text to connect with our MIT peer support network!

Leadership Team
Lean On Me: MIT


Renbin Liu
Chapter Coordinator
Renbin is an MIT student studying computer science, economics, and data science. He is passionate about using technology to bring more empathy and support to the school campus. You would probably find him watching cat videos or playing a role-deduction board game when he’s not studying.



Wendy Trattner
Managment
Wendy is a junior at MIT studying mechanical engineering. She is passionate about sustainability and spreading positivity. She also dabbles in bad startup pitches and enjoys finding random puppies to hold.



Tam Nguyen
Recruitment Coordinator
Tam is a sophomore in Course 20 (Biological Engineering) who likes traveling and cooking, and also plays the piano. Tam joined Lean On Me out of a desire to help support peers’ mental health at MIT.



Prateek Kalakuntla
Treasurer
Prateek is a junior at MIT majoring in Biological Engineering. He is a firm believer in the importance of mental health and is excited to be working with the rest of the team to ensure that the Chapter has the proper funding to continue providing support to MIT students.



Carol Pan
Supporter Coordinator
Carol Pan is a sophomore currently inching her way through a whole lot of math. Her hobbies include dish-washing, experimental cooking, and gacha games. She heavily believes that she could not have gotten as far as she did without people to talk to, and so want to fulfill that role for others too.



Shaida Nishat
Treasurer
Shaida Nishat is a sophomore studying biology and possibly a few other things at MIT. Shaida joined Lean On Me because she is passionate about the people on campus and providing the student body with a source of comfort and support. She is looking forward to the next few years at MIT and as a member of this student organization.



Gina Choi
Marketing Coordinator
Gina Choi is a sophomore at MIT, majoring in chemistry and biology. She is passionate about healthcare and public health, especially hoping to spread awareness about the mental health resources available at MIT. Outside of academics, Gina enjoys photography, reading science fiction novels, and exploring new food places in Boston.



Wenbo Wu
Training Coordinator
Wenbo is currently a first-year student at MIT, seeking to major in Biological Chemistry and Mathematics. He is passionate about creative writing, journalism, and medicine, and is excited to be coordinating Supporter training this year.



Seungweon Park
Training Coordinator
Seungweon is a double major in Brain & Cognitive Sciences and Biology at MIT. She joined Lean On Me because she admires its mission and wants to be a part of making mental health a more approachable topic on campus, making support more available to those who need it. In her free time, she likes watching Netflix, reading, and going into Boston with friends!



Lean On Me automatically and anonymously matches peers to create crowd-sourced texting networks of instantaneous support across organizations. We envision a world where everybody has someone to lean on.
How Our Hotline Works
1

Text Our Hotline

Find a hotline number in your community, and then text an whatever you'd like to talk about to the hotline! 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 to you, and to be there for you – the topic of conversation is your choice!
2

Match With a Supporter

Once a text is received, all active Supporters will be informed that a new request has come in, and within a few minutes you will be anonymously matched with one!
3

Receive a Reply

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

Have a Conversation

You can now have a conversation with the Supporter! Feel free to carry on the conversation for as long as you like. If you ever feel uncomfortable with a Supporter text “/flag” to the hotline, and we’ll match you with another! For a full list of commands, text "/help" to the hotline. Supporters will never see your slash commands.
5

End the Conversation

Conversations should 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.
6

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 it should take ~4.20min and we would really appreciate it. Your input will have a very real effect on the future of Lean On Me, and on any 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 MIT hotline's supporters are all MIT 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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