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Text to connect with our UC Santa Barbara peer support network!

Leadership Team
Lean On Me: UC Santa Barbara

Rushali Kothari
Chapter Coordinator
Rushali is a 4th year Biological Sciences major, pursuing healthcare after college. She spends her free time staring at the stars by the beach, dreaming up new projects and ideas to pursue, and skating through the streets of Isla Vista on her sticker-covered longboard.

Anna Zhou
Marketing Coordinator
Anna is a fourth year studying Biochemistry at UCSB. When she is not in the library wringing at her last three brain cells, she spends her free time writing, making music, going outdoors, and kickboxing. She passionately believes that dogs are the answer to finding world peace.

Natalie Herriott
Training Coordinator
Natalie is a second-year Language, Culture, and Society major at UCSB. She is an avid Vine enthusiast and Yerba Mate connoisseur. In her free time, you can find her relaxing on a hammock by the beach or binge watching her favorite show, Law and Order SVU.

Alec Brum
Supporter Coordinator
Alec is a Sociology major with minors in Applied Psychology and Educational Studies. He is going to pursue school psychology as a career path and will attend graduate school. When he isn’t studying at the library or working, he spends quality time with his friends and loves the outdoors.

Sammi Siu
Recruitment Coordinator
Sammi is a 3rd year Microbiology major with an Asian-American minor at UCSB. You can normally find her taking a “study break” at the library, but in her free time she enjoys reading, watching movies, and looking for a place to get dessert. In fact, she is most likely eating ice cream at this moment.

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

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!

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!

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!

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.

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.

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 UCSB hotline's supporters are all UCSB 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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