Frequently Asked Questions


How does it work?
1. You see someone post something online that makes you worried for their safety.
2. Go to SendHelp.io and submit the link to the original post.
3. A trained crisis counsellor will reach out to the person with an invitation to talk. Our service is opt-in, so no user has to talk with us (but many do).
Are you always online?
Not yet. However, we always respond as soon as we can. If you’re keen to help us expand our live hours, register your interest as a volunteer here.
Why SendHelp?
Many of us have seen content posted online that worries us, but we’re not always sure how to respond. SendHelp does the responding for you.
Who’s behind SendHelp?
SendHelp’s parent organisation is Zeal Education Trust, a registered charity based in Auckland, New Zealand. Find out more about Zeal and the work we do here.
How did SendHelp begin?
SendHelp was born out of the need for a proactive approach to suicide intervention, backed up by the latest research and our own statistical analysis. Enabling a supportive and caring online community is our driver, alongside a passion to reduce suicide rates globally. SendHelp uses the team from our original service, Online Crisis Intervention (OCI). OCI is a world-first service, proactively reaching out to people experiencing and expressing moments of personal crisis on Instagram.
What data do you gather?
The link you send us. That’s it. Privacy and confidentiality of all our service users is important to us – and is one of the main reasons people feel comfortable using our service. We do not retain any personally identifiable data about you as a sender or the user you notified us of. We gather high level data about overall visits and submissions to our site through Google Analytics.
Why respond to crisis in this way?
Because both academic and our own research on how people's mental health is expressed online lays the foundation for a proactive response. Also, expecting a person in crisis to take themselves to a help service is not a good fit for how our brains work in times of crisis, particularly those of developing young people.
Do you respond to everything?
We respond to every legitimate post about crisis that we can. We do not respond to broken links, email addresses, and free text. Sometimes we cannot respond to private posts.
Who funds this?
The key funder of our base service, Online Crisis Intervention, is the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation. Through this service, we make use of the capacity of our volunteer counsellors to address the notifications that come through SendHelp.
Who are your volunteer crisis counsellors?
Our crisis counsellors come from all walks of life. All have received over 30 hours of best-practice training in brief-intervention counselling techniques. The goals of all our online interactions are to relieve distress in the moment, strengthen protective factors and coping strategies, and connect the people we talk to with longer term and more localized help services.
How do I find out more or get involved?
If you haven’t found the answers to your question here, please get in touch with us by emailing sendhelp@zeal.nz. Please note that this is an administrative email and is not checked by our crisis response team.

If you would like more information about volunteering with us, please fill out our expression of interest form.

 
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