Nightline Training and Good Practice

Nightline training and Good Practice


All Nightline volunteers undergo training before they can take calls and all Nightlines offer support and supervision to new volunteers. The Good Practice Guidelines give advice and guidance on how volunteers should be trained, supported and supervised.

“The quality of training that has been organised by Nightline at Durham University is excellent. It would not be out of place as part of a training course for a range of mental healthcare professionals. This adds to student employability development for trainees, and crucially means that those students using Nightline receive high quality care and support.”

Professor Graham Towl, Pro Vice Chancellor and Deputy Warden, Durham University, UK.

“Nightline Association has provided support to our Nightline through structured and thorough teaching sessions. It is comforting to know that we have a dedicated and hard-working group of people whom we can turn to!”.

Nightline volunteer, Sheffield

Since October 2013 all Nightlines can access Connecting with People evidence based suicide awareness training via Nightline Association volunteers. This specialist training gives Nightline volunteers the knowledge, tools and skills to respond more competently and confidently to callers who self-harm or express suicidal thoughts.

“Connecting with People is delighted to be collaborating with Nightline to empower students. Ever since being a student I have known the invaluable support they provide.  Our mission is to ensure that anyone who has suicidal thoughts can recognise that they need help but also that those they confide in respond with compassion and constructive help.  By training the Nightline volunteers we know that they will be able to offer their support more confidently and safely.  This will help prevent unnecessary loss of promising lives.  Connecting with People is an innovative, evidence based, peer reviewed training programme that is being successfully rolled out across the UK”.

Dr. Alys Coles-King, Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist. Developed Connecting with People training.

Good practice

The Good Practice Guidelines were initially created at the request of Nightlines, to raise the professionalism of Nightline services and create trust in the Nightline community. The guidelines have been developed in partnership with Nightlines and are based on advice from mental health professionals, legal advisors, Samaritans and the Helplines Partnership.

Highlighting the key aspects of running a Nightline service, these guidelines enable Nightlines to check that they are operating according to good practice. They exist to support Nightlines to run their service legally, safely and with duty of care to callers and volunteers. The guidelines embrace the need for each Nightline to be able to operate slightly differently to meet the needs of their students and universities and provoke thought and consideration of the many circumstances that a Nightline may find themselves in, ensuring they have fully considered and made plans for every eventuality.

More information on Good Practice Guidelines