Frequently Asked Questions

If you don’t find the answer to your question below, please do contact us.

Is Nightline anonymous?

Yes, one of our core values is anonymity. This means that you can contact us without giving your name or any personal details, so you can talk about anything freely. We cannot see or track phone numbers that ring us, and have no call tracing abilities.

Are all the volunteers students?

Our volunteers are all students and the service is aimed at students. As London students ourselves, we may be more aware of the difficulties that students face and the context they’re in. We think that all students should be able to receive wellbeing support from someone on their level, who can empathise with what they’re experiencing.

Is Nightline confidential?

Yes, confidentiality is one of our core values. We want all our callers to feel comfortable talking to us about anything that’s on their minds. Nobody outside of Nightline will know what you talked to us about, or even that you contacted us. We don’t share anything you say or your details to anyone outside Nightline. This includes the police, social services, or your university.

We keep some statistical information that we use to help improve our service. This includes how many calls we get and broadly what the call topics are (e.g. mental health, family issues, academic stress).

The only time we would break confidentiality is if you expressly ask us to pass on your details to someone, if we receive a court order requiring us to share the information we have, if the call is about terrorism, if the call discusses harm coming to a minor (person under 18 years of age), or if the caller threatens the safety of our volunteers.

Are you the same as The Samaritans?

We provide a listening service that is similar, but we are aimed at students in higher education and we are open overnight when many helplines are closed or experiencing a higher demand. Like Samaritans, we are a non-judgemental, non-directive listening service. However, we are more student directed, have all student volunteers, and receive proportionately fewer calls about suicide. While we do talk about suicide in some calls, we also get many calls about general academic stress and other worries. There is nothing too big or too small to talk to us about.

Why can't I get through?

Our opening hours are 6pm-8am every night of term (including weekends). If you can’t get through during this time it may be that our lines are busy, so we recommend you call back later or try instant message.

Please note that callers withholding their number will not be able to get through to our lines. If you are concerned about your anonymity, please read the above note (“Is Nightline anonymous?”) for reassurance.

We open at night as many other services are closed, and many people find that those around them that they may otherwise talk with are unavailable at night. Throughout the night, things can seem more worrying or harder to deal with, especially if you’re struggling to sleep. This is why we think that being able to call or message London Nightline can help you feel less alone.

Do you give advice?

We offer support and information, but we don’t give advice or opinions. We understand that it can be helpful for some people to receive guidance, but we believe that each individual is best placed to make their own decisions. We can help people talk through their options, or refer them to other services that give advice.

Do I have to be suicidal or depressed to call Nightline?

Our callers talk to us about many different things that are troubling them, such as relationships, academic difficulties and for information such as a taxi company number. Sometimes calls can be about depression or suicide, but you don’t have to be experiencing either of these things in order to contact Nightline.

My English is not very good, how can I use the service?

We understand that in a multicultural city like London there are many students for whom English is not their first language. All of our volunteers are trained to be non-judgemental with callers but we do also provide an email service and an instant messaging service for those that may find it easier to contact us in writing.

My university term dates are different to Nightline’s, why is this?

We try our best to encompass all university dates within our opening times, but it can be very difficult to accommodate all of them. We are closed during the holidays, as many of our volunteers go home outside of London during this time.

Is the Nightline number a free-phone number?

The Nightline number is a standard landline contact number which is covered in the majority of mobile phone contracts’ free minutes allowance. If you wish to contact us for free, you can do so via Skype, email, or our online instant messaging service on the website. We can call you back on a UK landline telephone number if you are worried about cost.

What is your data protection policy?

Please see our Data Protection Policy for Service Users for more information.

How do I make a complaint?

Please see our Complaints Procedure for more information.