For many, using our support lines may be the first step in reaching out for help and talking about these issues. There is no cookie-cutter experience with our lines; support is tailored to each individual and will vary a lot depending on where you’re at in your activism, what you want to talk about, and what issues you’re experiencing.
When you reach out to us, someone will always answer. You can expect a response to text and chat messages within 30 minutes (though often much sooner) and a response to emails within 6 hours.
You get to set the pace and tone for support. We won’t talk about issues that you’re not comfortable discussing. We won’t ask invasive or overly personal questions; the focus is always on your thoughts and feelings, not the details. We won’t tell you what you should do or offer unsolicited advice. We won’t talk about ourselves. And we won’t ever pressure you to make a particular decision. Instead, we are here to listen, offer options, support the decisions you make, brainstorm ideas, provide resources and referrals, and follow your lead.
What we talk about is up to you. You might just want a friendly ear and choose to only talk about your day. You might want to talk about your experiences with burnout, stress, depression, anxiety, isolation, trauma, self-harm, or suicidal thoughts. You might want support with in-fighting. You might want to talk about how to be more effective and impactful in your activism. You might want to discuss how you can become more involved in the animal rights community.
The length for support varies from person to person. Sometimes people reach out for a quick answer to a question. Some people send us long emails venting their feelings. They may not even want a response- writing and knowing that someone will read it can be therapeutic in itself. Some people might want to chat back and forth online for an hour. You can end the conversation at any time without giving a reason. To respect your privacy, we will never store your information or follow-up after a support session unless you specifically ask us to.
The bottom line: you get to decide what support looks like.
For 24-hr, confidential, and anonymous support: text 416-699-7720 (Canada) & 818-960-3929 (USA), email Talk@HelpActivists.org, or chat with us online at www.HelpActivists.org/Chat