About PPN

What is Princeton Peer Nightline?

Princeton Peer Nightline is an anonymous peer listening service. Our listeners are undergraduate students of Princeton University who have been trained and certified as helpline volunteers. Since 2017, we have provided empathetic, non-judgmental support to Princeton University students who wish to share a problem, are in need of information, or just want to talk about whatever is on their mind. Whether it’s relationships, academic stress, a fight with a friend or a parent, depression, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts, roommate troubles, or just a really bad day, we’re here to listen and make sure that no student has to face their problems alone.

To gauge visitor satisfaction and to measure our ability to help students, we use a post-chat survey. Of the visitors who responded to some or all of the questions,

  • 91% said they found their chat specialist somewhat helpful, very helpful,  or extremely helpful.
  • 80% responded that they felt significantly better than when they started the chat.

Peer Nightline volunteers do not provide professional counseling, but rather supportive listening. Students in crisis will be directed to appropriate professional resources including the CPS counselor on call. We highly recommend that students who are experiencing mental health emergencies reach out to the on-call counselor at CPS (609) 258-3139 or to Public Safety at (609) 258-1000. 

What happens when I call Nightline?

One of our trained peer nightline volunteers will answer the phone/chat. After that, what we talk about is up to you: you can choose to share as much or as little as you like. No matter what you’re dealing with, our peer listeners will be able to provide empathetic support, resources, and a safe space to explore what is on your mind.

Note: Sometimes it can take a few minutes to establish the chat connection. Please be patient if a volunteer does not answer immediately.

When can I call/chat?

Our call service is temporarily postponed until next semester, but we are open for chat Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays during the semester.

Our current chat service hours are listed below (all times Eastern):

  • Monday: 8pm – 12am
  • Tuesday: 8pm – 12am
  • Wednesday: 8pm – 12am
  • Thursday: 8pm – 12am
  • Sunday: 12pm – 2pm and 8pm – 12am

Chat online by connecting to the chat service at this link. Just sign on, create an anonymous identity, and chat with one of our volunteers.

Who do we serve?

Nightline is primarily a service for the Princeton University student community. If you are looking for support but aren’t a student, call the New Jersey Hopeline (855) 654-6735 or CONTACT of Mercer County (609) 896-2120.

Who can be a volunteer?

Primary training of all Nightline volunteers occurs through CONTACT of Mercer County, NJ and is supplemented with Princeton-specific modules on services and resources available at the University like SHARE, CPS, and McGraw Learning Center. If you’re interested in getting involved, let us know! Use the form on the contact page or send us an email at peerntln@princeton.edu.

Policies and anonymity

All calls and chats to Peer Nightline are private. Peer listeners sign a privacy agreement upon joining PPN and take their roles seriously. Even the most sensitive concerns can be discussed safely and will not be shared. Exceptions apply only for extreme circumstances, such as if someone is at imminent risk of harming themselves or others. 

On-call/chat emergency services

Students who are experiencing mental health emergencies are highly suggested to reach out directly to the on-call counselor at CPS (609) 258-3141 or to Public Safety at (609) 258-1000. Volunteers on the line are also able to direct you to the right resources.