Florian Tirana, 24: “It’s a way to free speech”
I am a student in engineering school, in environmental policy. I am a volunteer in the association since 2018 and am currently the President of Nightline France. Like many, I discovered the association through posters in the toilets. I liked the goal, I found it to be a good way to free up speech. I have been listening for two years and it has been a very rich experience. We are not here to solve problems but to listen and provide a caring presence.
→ TESTIMONIALS. The confinement undermines the morale of the students: “Once a week, I tell myself that I will let go of everything”
Since September, we have received between 1,000 and 2,000 calls nationally, and unfortunately we cannot take them all. The students do not know where to turn when some resources exist. We are therefore trying to reach out to them, we have also created the support-etudiant.info site which lists all the initiatives to help them psychologically.
Sirine Amiri, 23: “It changed my life”
I am doing a biophysics thesis at the Institut Curie and am currently president of the Nightline branch in Paris. I am from the Parisian suburbs and have been part of the association for two years. I regularly saw the poster on the bathroom door in my school, and I thought it was a great concept! I signed up and did some training to become a volunteer.
The job of listening consists of letting the person who calls us speak, without judgment and without intervening to give advice. This is called active listening. I learned a lot about my interactions with others, with myself, and it changed my life. I also appreciate the benevolent side of the association, we have sharing meetings where we can talk about some difficult calls or our personal problems. There is a good atmosphere among the volunteers.
Floriane Varais-Kurtz, 23 years old: “I wanted to create something concrete”
I am a student lawyer in Lyon and I created a Nightline branch there in November 2020, of which I am the president. At first, I studied medicine; I noticed that there was distress among the students and nothing to support us. I didn’t even know that it was possible to see a psychologist at my university.
→ THE FACTS. “Psychic check”, meal for one euro, face-to-face… Emmanuel Macron’s announcements for students
Then I started studying law and met Patrick Skehan, the founder of Nightline in France. I wanted to help the students, and the opportunity presented itself. So I was able to create something concrete. Being president allows me to have a role to play and it also brings me a lot humanly to be in contact with other volunteers. I am also learning by working with mental health actors and this can help me professionally. We are currently fourteen volunteers in Lyon.
Simon Lottier, 23 years old: “I understood that there was a need”
I am a thesis student in materials science at Arts et Métiers, and currently president of the Lille branch. Originally from Nice, I joined the association in Paris three years ago. I noticed that a lot of students, even friends, felt bad and I understood that there was a need. And in addition, I really wanted to do the associative. So I was listening for three years.
→ REPORT. In Lyon, the plight of students pushes them to mobilize
The Lille branch was launched in mid-November, and the premises are provided to us by the Crous. In the association, we make sure that everyone is well, we discuss a lot among us during the hours. We also have the option of consulting a psychologist if certain calls were too difficult. Our permanence was able to be maintained during confinement thanks to an exemption. Ultimately, we would like to create other branches, the next one will be in Toulouse.
The little story of Nightline
Telephone listening service Nightline was established in 1970 at the universityEssex site United Kingdom. In 2016, Patrick Skehan, an Irish student, imported the concept to France. After a training period, a French-speaking line was opened in November 2017 with a team made up of students of different nationalities.
The association aims to free the voice of students on mental health topics. Permanent telephone calls are from 9:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Volunteers also set up preventive actions with higher education establishments.
In 2020, the association becomes Nightline France and supports the deployment of the concept in many other student cities: Plateau de Saclay, Lille, Lyon … There is also an English-speaking line for foreign students living in Paris. Rens. : nightline.fr