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What is Nightline?

Nightline was founded in May 1970 at Essex University by a local chaplin and ex-director of Colchester Samaritans, with the intention of helping to prevent student suicide.

A small group of students were trained to give fellow students someone to talk to. A telephone was set up in an empty campus bedroom, and thus Nightline began.

University is often a stressful time. Individuals might be living away from home for the first time and can face many challenges along the way. These might include:

  • Academic problems
  • Trouble making friends and fitting in
  • Paying bills
  • Living with strangers
  • Homesickness

Many people feel out of their comfort zone; adding to stress and anxiety. Studies suggest that 20-25% of university students show raised levels of psychological distress, slightly higher than the figure reported for the general public. For some students, these feelings may lift after a period of time, but for others they may lead to feelings of hopelessness and depression.

This often leads to insomnia, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating and staying motivated. Such symptoms affect everyday living and often academic performance.

Cycle of depression at university
A visualisation of how anxiety and stress can spiral and intensify each other.

Studies show that students are more likely to confide in other students. But students have typically been poor at recognising the presence and severity of psychological symptoms.

This is where Nightline comes in to help break the cycle.

For more information on Nightline itself, please consult the Nightline Association website.

Questions? Please check our FAQ page.