You can text us for free between 8am and midnight at: 234.
This service is available for any young person in New Zealand, or anyone who is supporting a young person. We are happy to chat with parents, grandparents, friends, whānau, teachers, coaches and more. Being supported as the support person is incredibly important.
A text conversation with Youthline is not as instant as calling or chatting with us online. It usually takes 5-10 minutes to receive a message back.
No matter what you are texting about, our team will not judge or criticise you, or tell you what to do. You might be asked how you are feeling and be invited to share how you are feeling. You do not have to be in a crisis situation to text us. People text for all sorts of reasons; because they feel alone, or because they lost someone they care for, others because they are having difficulties making their relationships work.
Here is an example of how a text conversation with Youthline might start:
Texter: Hi is this Youthline?
Youthline: Hey, this is Youthline :) Is there something you would like support with at the moment?
Texter: I am feeling real sad and don't have anyone I can talk to about it
Youthline: That sounds like a really tough situation. We are happy to listen, do you want to share a bit more about how you have been feeling sad?
What time can I text Youthline?
Text counselling is available from 8am to midnight, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If you are contacting us from the Cook Islands please note the above is NZ time.
What do I do if I can't get through?
If you contact us and don’t receive a response, this may be because you are texting after hours (however you should still receive an out of hours response). We reply to all texts that we receive and try to do so within 30 minutes. If you don't hear from us within that time, please text us again – sometimes text technology isn’t as reliable as calling!
Sometimes it can take us a little bit longer to respond if we are experiencing a lot of contacts all at once. We will always try to let you know if the wait time is higher than expected.
If you are in crisis and need emergency assistance, please hang up and dial 111 (NZ) or 999 or 998 (Cook Islands).
Are you confidential?
Everything you write is confidential within Youthline. We do not pass information based on what you tell us to any external organisations or family members except in dangerous situations where we are concerned that there is a high risk that you or someone else might be harmed. In these situations we will attempt to work with you first to do this.
If i text again, will i get the same person i spoke with last time?
Not necessarily. We have hundreds of counsellors across the country who do varying shifts from month to month, so most of the time you will talk to someone different.
Can i ask someone at youthline to text me back?
Each day we have a lot of young people who contact us, so we work to make sure we can answer as many of them as possible. We don’t text people back, however our counsellors can help you find services in your area if you would like some ongoing support.
will my conversation be recorded?
Our counsellors collect basic information like gender, age, ethnicity (if you choose to tell us) and the general issues that people contact us about, e.g. ‘relationships’ or ‘school’. We collect this information so that we can better understand what is going for young people across the country and can make sure our counsellors have the resources they need to best support you.