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GW Listens is a student-run support network. We're here if you need help or want to talk

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Designed by students, run by students, built for students.
Mental health is just as important as physical health. In that spirit, and with the knowledge that many of us struggle in college, we decided to create a platform for you to speak with student volunteers who are here to help, listen to, and support you. Read more about us.

We are available Sunday through Wednesday, from 9:00p to 1:00a.

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We are here if you need someone to talk to. All of our conversations will forever be anonymous.

Call us at (202) 242-8255
Text us at (202) 517-2926
Message us online

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GW Listens

Mental health is just as important as physical health.

Designed by students, run by students, built for students. In that spirit, and with the knowledge that many of us struggle in college, we decided to create a platform for you to speak with student volunteers who are here to help, listen to, and support you.

Reach us Sunday through Wednesday, from 9:00p to 1:00a

Call at (202) 242-8255, text at (202) 517-2926, or message us online.

If you call outside our hours, your call will be forwarded to GW Mental Health Service's 24/7 support line. If you send us a text, messages will be replied to when we open.

Apply for the 2018-19 volunteer cohort

Applications due by October 21, apply now.

The current Director of GW Listens is Anastasiya Parvankin. To contact Director Parvankin, email her at aparvankin@gwu.edu.

Please send an email to gwlistens@gwu.edu if you have any questions about the GW Listens program. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and follow us on Instagram to get updates.

Frequently asked questions

How are my calls protected?

All communications we recieve are handled with the utmost level of confidentiality. All our volunteers sign confidentiality agreements that bound their ability to speak about or repeat any conversations they have with students. Online chat and text message logs are encrypted with AES-256 bit CTR.

How was GW Listens created?

In 2014, a train of suicides tragically occurred on GW’s campus. This prompted future SA president Nick Gumas to campaign on creating a peer support network. The idea was introduced to the Board of Trustees that fall, and the university started increasing efforts to help mental health issues, such as moving the Colonial Health Center to the Marvin Center. GW Listens was modeled off of Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania’s peer support mental health hotlines. The first cohort of volunteers was selected in the fall of 2015, and they completed their training in 2016.

Director Parvankin took over the project in April 2016, and the program was launched in January 2017. In September 2017, a text and online chat line was launched to help us meet students where they are.

Is GW Listens a substitute for Mental Health Services?

No. It is important to note that we are not a crisis intervention line. We are simply are another resource on campus for students who do not feel comfortable talking to a professional, who do not want or need long term treatment, or simply want someone to talk to. We are committed to talking to any student who calls, and helping them in the best possible way that we can.

Where can I read more about GW Listens?

A number of articles have been written about GW Listens, including by The Hatchet and GW Today.

How many volunteers do you have?

We currently have 10 to 15 volunteers.

How can I become a student volunteer?

We recruit volunteers in the fall through an application and interview process. We select volunteers in November, and announce the application via social media platforms and other resources in September/October. Volunteers are trained through an upper-level psychology course in the spring and officially start volunteer shifts the following fall.

What course materials do student volunteers get trained through?

All volunteers take an upper-level psychology course in which students learn about a variety of mental health challenges. They also role play potential scenarios they could face during their hotline shifts to adequately train them to take on calls.

Who teaches the training class?

Although GW Listens is under the SA, GW Listens operates pretty independently. GW Listens also receives consultation from Mental Health Services. Psychologists from Mental Health Services teach the class.

Where do you receive calls and texts?

We value confidentiality and privacy, so our location is kept strictly confidential.

Who are the volunteers that take the calls?

The identities of our volunteers are kept strictly confidential. We recruit student volunteers from a range of majors and ages.

How many calls and texts do you get per day and what is the average length of a conversation?

We keep this information strictly confidential.

What are the most common subjects students discuss on the hotline?

We keep this information strictly confidential.