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Commonly Asked Questions

So you're wondering how Youthline works and what happens when you contact us? We've prepared a few questions and answers below that we often get asked, so that you know what to expect when you get in touch.

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What happens when I call or TXT Youthline – who do I talk to?

When you phone, we try to make sure you are answered by a volunteer from the centre nearest to you. They will introduce themselves and ask you a little about yourself and how they can help.

You can say anything you want in confidence and there will not be any comeback. In fact, you don't even need to use your own name.

If you are in a difficult position they may ask you how they can help and may offer some ideas, but we are not in the business of making judgments or telling you what to do.  We are in the business of working stuff out together.  This may take one call or TXT, or many - it's up to you.

If you phone, TXT or email us we will not judge or criticise you or tell you what to do. We might ask you how you are feeling and invite you to talk about your feelings.  We provide a safe and accepting environment to give you the time and space that you need to talk if you want to. You do not have to be in a crisis situation to ring. People call 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.


When I call/TXT will I get the same person I spoke with last time?

Not necessarily. We have over 500 volunteers across the country who do varying shifts from month to month, so most of the time you will talk to someone different.


What time can I call/TXT Youthline?

The Youth Helpline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week/365 days a year. We respond to TXT messages between 8am and 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 to you?

If you call the Youth Helpline and you aren’t able to get through to a counsellor, this may be because all our helpline operators are on calls assisting other young people. Making sure you get to talk to someone is really important to us though, so you will hear a message giving you some other options.

If you contact us via our Free TXT service and don’t receive a response, this may be because you are texting after hours (however you should still receive a response telling you the times we are open which is 8am to midnight).  We will reply to all TXTs that we receive and try to do so within 30 minutes so if you don’t hear from us, please TXT us again – sometimes TXT technology isn’t as reliable as calling! 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 say 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.


Can I ask someone at Youthline’s helpline to call me back?

Each day we have a lot of young people that call through to our helpline, so we work to make sure we can answer as many calls as possible. We don’t call people back, however our counsellors can help you find services in your area if you would like some ongoing support.


Is any of the conversation from my call, email or text to Youthline written down?

Our counsellors collect basic information (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 Youthline knows the type of calls we are getting across the country and can make sure our counsellors have the resources they need to best support you.

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