Healthy Mind

Niteline – someone to listen

Coming into the festive season normally means one of the happiest times of the year; but for students it means last assignments to be handed in and exams to be studied for. 
 
Add a job, actually going to college and all the madness of preparing for Christmas, means things can get stressful very quickly. 
 
As the days get colder and darker, mental illness issues like Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) become apparent as well. 
 
It is a tough time for young people and a some feel the brunt of things more than others. It can be hard for a lot of people to talk and admit that something might be wrong.
 
Fortunately for us in Ireland, there are a lot of resources available for mental health issues and especially at student level. Among the number of phone-lines available for those who need to talk like Samaritans, Aware and Childline, there’s Niteline – catered just for us.
 
Niteline is a call service run by and for students from DCU, NCAD, RCSI, TCD, NUIM and their affiliate colleges. It’s open every night of term from 9p.m to 2.30a.m and also has an online instant messaging service for those who’d rather not use the phone. 
 
Their volunteers go through rigorous training and screening processes and everything is strictly confidential and anonymous – and it’s free. 
 
Niteline’s ethos isn’t to give advice; it’s just to be there to listen, to discuss and to help you come to your own conclusions about what works for you. As they say themselves, no problem is too big or too small.
 
As everything is confidential, Niteline can’t give out information as to how many callers or volunteers they have, but they do say that their caller numbers go up around exams and times when you’d expect students to be under stress.
 
Niteline provides something that we all need at some point – someone to listen.  Even though it sounds a cliché once you admit that something’s up, things do start to get easier. 
 
If you are struggling with a personal issue or even just want a chat, Niteline is available tonight at 1800 793 793. 
 
For more information regarding Niteline and its services visit www.niteline.ie.
Photo: Martin Cathrae/ Flickr