Gay Switchboard Ireland and LGBT Helpline today announced plans for a new online support service.
When a user visits either LGBT Helpline or Gay Switchboard Ireland’s website from July, an instant message box prompt will appear giving them the opportunity to chat in real-time with a trained volunteer.
The service, which begins July 3, will initially run only on weekends with an increase in service hours planned from September.
LGBT Helpline’s online support service will operate from 4-6pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays while Gay Switchboard Ireland’s online service will run on Fridays from 6.30-9pm, Saturdays from 2-6pm and Sundays from 4-6pm.
“We have seen a huge increase in the level of traffic to our website and online messaging looking for support so we wanted to respond to that need, “ said LGBT Helpline coordinator Paula Fagan.
“More than 60 per cent of visitors to our site are under 34 years of age and we believe that an instant online support service would appeal to that younger demographic. In the age of smartphones, it also provides a more discreet way for people to access instant help and support.”
“We have found that some service users can find it difficult to verbalise how they are feeling over the phone,“ adds Adam Shanley, director of Gay Switchboard Ireland.
“This chat support service allows us to expand and diversify the support we offer to the community even further.”
© 2015 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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