About sixty TU/e volunteers are ready to chat with you on a daily basis from 4:00-10.00 p.m. on hearme.tue.nl. Both chatting and (video) calling are free.
English and Dutch
“All volunteers speak English really well and more than half of them also speak Dutch,” Lara Hofstra says, internationalization coordinator at the Student Sports Centre. Students and employees can make unlimited use of the initiative. “We deliberately do not want to limit this; people may call when they need it. And we emphasize that ‘need’ can have many faces. The initiative is not just for people who feel really down. You may just have had a bad day and want to hear an uplifting story from someone else. Or just want to chat lightly about what to do with your spare time on the weekend. Anyone can call us,” Hofstra says.
The line is completely anonymous, unless if you opt for video calling of course. “When you call us or approach us for a chat, we see a code, not a name. Your data and chat or (video) call are not stored or used for reference by TU/e,” Hofstra emphasizes.
It is also important to know that you chat or call with a volunteer: they are not trained psychologists or professionals, but students and employees with an affinity with listening, from among others, TU/e, Fontys and TINT. They are supervised by TINT's life coaches and clear guidelines. For example, if the conversations go beyond providing a listening ear, such as speaking to those with depression or even suicidal thoughts, the volunteers have to immediately stop the conversation and refer the person to the GP or 113 (suicide prevention line, ed.).
Even after corona
The initiative will be evaluated in five months. "If it turns out to be a success I would like to continue it, even when the corona time is over. It is a good initiative to improve the well-being of students and staff here.”
Finally, she also has a message for the TU/e community: “Look around you and check who could do with a regular call or email. You can really help someone with something that small.”
Do you have suicidal thoughts? Or are you worried about someone else? Then call 0900-0113 directly or chat via www.113.nl. Anonymous, free and 24/7.