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Text and instant message support services

Learn more about the ways you can get help through text and instant message active listening services

Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in news

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More and more people are turning to text and instant message active listening support services instead of calling traditional phone helplines. Some young people find it easier to discuss and disclose their feelings over text and instant messages rather than talking to someone over the phone. It makes sense given so many of us today favour texting and instant messaging with our friends and family over talking on the phone. Fortunately there are several text based and instant messaging active listening support services available to us in Ireland. Below you can find a list of the resources and services that these organisations have to offer.

Please note that you do not have to be depressed or suicidal to talk to the services listed below, they are available to talk about other things that may be worrying you or causing stress. Also note that all services listed below are free*, confidential, secure and staffed by trained volunteers.

*Standard text messaging rates apply to sending texts to the Samaritans & Pieta House, although most phone plans include unlimited text messages

Samaritans text message support

  • Samaritans currently offers 24/7 support through SMS text messages, text 'Hello' to 087 260 9090 to get started (standard text messaging rates apply) 
  • They are also working on adding an online chatting service as well, which should be available in the near future
  • The email address for the Samaritans will also be changing shortly and email support will resume then
  • Learn more about the services offered at Samaritans here

Childline text and instant messaging support

  • Childline offers text message and instant messaging support
  • These services allow you to talk with a counsellor about anything and receive support or help with whatever is worrying you at the moment
  • Whatever is said on the instant messaging service is confidential - so it will stay between you and Childline
  • Childline text and instant messaging services are available from 10am - 4am every day
  • Text 'Talk' to 50101 to talk to a trained counsellor by text message
  • Learn more about their service and find their chatroom here

Pieta House text message and email support

  • Pieta House offers specialised treatment to clients who self-harm, suffer from suicidal ideation or have made multiple suicide attempts

  • Pieta House currently offers 24/7 support through SMS text messages, text 'Help' to 51444 to get started (standard text messaging rates apply) 

  • You can also email them 24/7 by sending a message to

  • Learn more about the services offered at Pieta here instant messaging service

  • runs a confidential instant messaging service, your identity will not be made known to the staff member who is assisting you
  • instant messaging service is there to give you support, information, guidance and referrals for drug, alcohol, and/or HIV/sexual health questions or concerns
  • Learn more about their service and find the link to their live chat on the right hand side of this page here

NiteLine instant messaging service

  • NiteLine is another great instant messaging service which is run by students for students
  • They are associated with the following colleges: ITT, ITB, MU, NCAD, RCSI, and TCD
  • Their instant messaging service is open from 9pm - 2:30am every night of term
  • Niteline is confidential in the sense that the only person who can see your conversation is the NiteLine volunteer that you are chatting with
  • All NightLine volunteers are trained
  • Learn more about NiteLine here

LGBT helpline instant messaging service

  • LGBT helpline is a non-judgemental service set up in order to listen to whatever you may have on your mind at the moment
  • LGBT helpline chat service is available 7 days a week, from 6:30pm to 9:30pm Monday through Thursday, from 4pm to 9pm Fridays, and from 4pm to 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays
  • Learn more about LGBT helpline and find their chat service here

Gay Switchboard instant messaging service

  • You are free to talk about anything with Gay Switchboard
  • Typically some of their normal conversations include topics like, coming out, gender identity, family issues, relationship issues, safe sex, bullying, and many more
  • Gay Switchboard is available to help via their instant messaging service 7 days a week, Monday through Friday from 6:30pm - 9pm and Saturday and Sunday from 2pm - 4pm
  • You can find more information and their chat service here
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Published June 21st, 2017
Last updated December 28th, 2017
Tags mental health wellbeing online
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