(773) 295-2306

Text to connect with our UChicago peer support network!

Leadership Team
Lean On Me: UChicago

Ariella Katz
Cofounder of Lean On Me: UChicago
Ariella is a Fundamentals: Issues and Texts and Classics student at UChicago passionate about the power of individual stories to inspire empathy. She is excited to help build a campus atmosphere that is genuinely kind and inclusive. Before joining Lean on Me, Ariella designed creative writing classes at a local public school and volunteered at a prison monitoring NGO.

Sophia Sheng
Cofounder of Lean On Me: UChicago
Sophia is an incorrigible language enthusiast, as well as a margin-doodler. She is also a third year fundamentals major, and is so thrilled to have the chance to make people feel cared for.

Liam Rossman
University Liaison
Liam is a Statistics and Public Policy student at UChicago who is passionate about promoting mental wellness on campus. He loves facilitating collaboration between organizations dedicated to making college a friendlier place for everyone, and smiling while doing it.

Peter Wiggin
Technology Coordinator
Peter is an Economics and Statistics major at UChicago. He is passionate about politics and dedicated to making the world a better place.

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
Text Our Hotline

Send us a text about an issue or question you'd like to talk about. This can range from brief or nonurgent message like "All of my friends are busy and I want someone to talk to" to a longer or more serious message. Our supporters are here to talk to you, so the topic of conversation is your choice.
Match With a Supporter

Our algorithms will match you with a peer supporter who we believe can best relate to your challenges. This will be determined by your initial text, so feel free to include as much relevant information as you like. This matching and texting process is completely anonymous, so you and the supporter will only ever see the Lean On Me hotline number, never each others'.
Receive a Reply

Once a supporter matches with you, they will text you a reply. The median wait time to receive a reply is 2 minutes, although response time may be longer depending on the number of available supporters. If nobody has responded within 24 hours, you can try resending the text. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can also email us so that we can fix the issue for future users.
Have a Conversation

You can now have a conversation with the supporter! Feel free to carry on the conversation as long as you feel is necessary, and we hope that you are able to find the support that you're looking for. For a full list of commands, text "/help" to the hotline. Supporters will never see your slash commands.
Flag a Supporter

If at any time you feel uncomfortable with your peer supporter, text "/flag" then "/bye" to our hotline. This will immediately forward the conversation to a Lean On Me administrative team member and end your interaction. If we determine that a supporter has acted in poor taste, they will no longer be allowed to participate in the network.
End the Conversation

You can end a conversation with a supporter at any time by texting "/bye" and an automated message will confirm success. You will be asked to rate you conversation so that we can ensure quality supporters and improve our services. Whenever you want to text the hotline again, our server will match you with a new supporter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the peer supporters?

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 UChicago hotline's supporters are all UChicago students.) They are not certified or licensed, but they do go through our Supporter Development Workshop to ensure quality of support and awareness of local resources.
How can I help?

We're always looking for more people to join the team! If you're interested in applying to be a peer supporter, you can apply here! If you'd like to be part of the Lean On Me organizational team or software development squad, please email us!
Can I start a Lean On Me hotline?

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!
Do you ever report users?

We are not mandatory reporters, and we are not endorsed nor partnered with any existing organizations. Our policy is to keep all conversations 100% anonymous and we will never report you to emergency services, university administrators, or other outside entities. If you need emergency help, please find it elsewhere.
Why are my messages blocked?

If a number is found to be the source of multiple spam incidents, we reserve the right to block the number from participating in the network. If you believe your number has been blocked in error, please feel free to drop us a line at uchicago@lean0n.me.
Can I give you feedback?

Feedback is always welcome! If you have a suggestion, please drop us a line at uchicago@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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