Lean On Me strengthens communities by providing peer-to-peer text lines that allow for easy access to confidential non-crisis support. We envision a world where anyone can seek and receive emotional support.
Lean On Me at UC Berkeley is a chapter of Lean On Me, which was founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2015. To learn more about their impact or inquire about establishing a new chapter, visit their website here.
How our hotline works
Lean On Me allows students to talk to trained peer Supporters in a convenient and anonymous setting. To learn more about our training process, please click here.
1. Text our hotline
Text UC Berkeley's hotline number whatever you’d like to talk about! This can range from brief messages such as “All of my friends are busy and I want someone to talk to” to a longer, more serious message. Our Supporters are here to listen and be there for you - the topic is your choice!
3. Receive a reply
The expected wait time is just under 5 minutes. While the service is available at any time, please remember that Supporters are your peers, who lead their own busy lives and occasionally remember to sleep. So the wait time for a conversation sent in at 4:30 AM may be longer, and we thank you for understanding that!
5. End the conversation
Conversations last for as long as you would like them to, and you can end a conversation with a Supporter at any time by texting “/bye” to the hotline. If you text again you will be matched with a new Supporter and they will not see what you wrote before.
2. Match with a Supporter
Once a text is received, all active Supporters will be informed that a request has come in, and within a few minutes you will be matched with one!
4. Have a conversation
You can now have a conversation with the Supporter! Feel free to text for as long as you like. If you ever feel uncomfortable with a Supporter text “/flag”, and we’ll match you with another! For a full list of commands, text “/help” to the hotline. Supporters never see your slash commands.
6. Provide feedback
Once a conversation ends, you will be asked to provide feedback, helping make the service better for future users. By no means is this mandatory, but we would really appreciate it. Your input will have a very real effect on the future of Lean On Me, and on changes we make to the service!
Meet our team
Sophia (she/her) is a junior studying Molecular and Cell Biology and minoring in Data Science. She loves to go on hikes with her dogs and go on boba dates with friends to destress. She's also a big fan of rants and healthy cries to let all the emotions out- and is ALWAYS happy to listen!
Robbie (he/him) is a junior at UC Berkeley and studies psychology. He likes to meet new people and has a lot of fun working with Lean On Me. He loves to destress with some easygoing exercise like swimming. He also really likes to play video games and watch horror movies!
Idalys (she/her) is a sophomore majoring in Psychology and minoring in Education. She's a huge lover of sour candies and matcha ice cream while watching movies from Pride and Prejudice to Adam Sandler comedies. To destress, she listens to Taylor Swift and bakes her heart out. She loves all animals, and owns 2 cats, a lizard, and a dog!
Mikaela (she/her) is from Los Angeles and is a sophomore studying psychology. She is a research assistant for a developmental psychology lab at Berkeley and loves watching romantic comedy movies. To detress, she likes to listen to music, go to the beach, and make jewelry!
Madeline (she/her) is a fourth year from Sacramento, CA studying Nutritional Science. She loves the outdoors, soccer, baking, yoga, and hiking and is excited to study abroad in the Netherlands in the spring.
Ashley (she/her) is a junior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Clinical and Counseling Psychology. She loves hiking and baking, and recently picked up painting over the pandemic! One of her favorite things to do to destress is to go for long drives with her friends and talk for hours on end. Lean on Me has been so much fun, and she is so excited to be on the exec team this semester!
Mikaela (she/her) is a sophomore studying Cognitive Science and minoring in Computer Science. She loves going to the movie theater and gossipping over pop culture with her friends. She is passionate about mental health and is excited to help Lean on Me create a supportive environment between peers at UC Berkeley!
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Who are the peer Supporters?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 UMD hotline's supporters are all UMD students.) While they are not formally licensed or certified, they do go through our Supporter training.
How can I be a part of Lean On Me in my community?We're always looking for more people to join the team! If you're interested in applying to be a peer Supporter, please visit your chapter's Join page for more information. If you'd like to be a part of the Lean On Me organizational team or software development squad, please email us at email@example.com!
Can I start a Lean On Me hotline?If you're part of a group that's interested in having a Lean On Me hotline, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
How anonymous is it, really?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.
Is this also a suicide hotline? Can I text in a crisis situation?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 911, or text "HOME" to the National Crisis Textline at 741-741.
How can I provide feedback?Feedback is always welcome! If you have a suggestion, please drop us a line at email@example.com! We are constantly thinking about how to improve the Lean On Me network and technology, so we would love to hear from you.