Nightline Association

Nightlines offer a confidential and anonymous support and information service throughout the night, when other student welfare services are usually closed and when students need it most. Nightlines are run by students for students, offering a unique peer-to-peer service for the student population.

Nightline Association’s mission is to raise the quality, profile, availability, and accessibility of Nightline services so that every student is aware of, and has access to, confidential emotional peer support, as well as the opportunity to volunteer for a Nightline. Our vision is for every student in higher to have access to the support offered by volunteer led Nightline services so that:

• Every student is able to talk about their feelings in a safe, non-judgmental environment
• Fewer students have their education compromised by emotional difficulties
• Fewer students die by suicide.

There are currently 36 Nightlines that cover over 120 institutions, offering their services to more than 1.5 million students. Nightline services are delivered by 2000+ trained student volunteers, whereas Nightline Association delivers its support via 100+ volunteers and one paid member of staff.

How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?

Our role in suicide prevention is to ensure that our 2000+ student volunteers running and delivering Nightline services have ongoing access to the tools, knowledge, and skills required to ensure that they can respond confidently and competently to callers expressing suicidal thoughts.

Although all Nightlines are confidential and non-directive, volunteers can offer to call emergency services on behalf of a student who is imminently or actively suicidal while contacting the service. By providing an empathetic listening ear to students during the night when no other services are available, Nightlines hopes that students who may be considering suicide feel listened to, supported, and not alone.

Nightline Association provides ongoing support to Nightline services on developments in suicide prevention work, training opportunities to increase volunteers’ confidence and competence, and guidance on developing appropriate policies and procedures that meet Nightline Association Good Practice Guidelines.

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What are your current priorities?

– Ensuring Nightlines deliver a consistent, high-quality service by regularly reviewing our Good Practice Guidelines and helping all affiliated Nightlines to adopt good practice and gain accreditation.

– Organising training and other development opportunities for Nightline volunteers as well as facilitating the sharing of good practice.

– Delivering bespoke suicide calls training created in partnership with experts in the field across the Nightline community.

– Building strong strategic alliances with organisations which share our interests.

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What challenges are you currently facing?

Addressing difficulties caused by the pandemic in running Nightline services and ensuring safe resuming of in-person operations.

Securing sufficient funds to effectively develop the organisation according to the needs of Nightline services, including further training and sustainability support.

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