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 University of Virginia hotline's supporters are all University of Virginia students.) While they are not formally licensed or certified, they do go through our Supporter Training
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.