‘7 Cups of Tea’ is a website where people provide free emotional support to those going through difficult times. It gives you the space to vent about a range of issues, while knowing that what you say is confidential and you can remain anonymous. This website really helped me and continues to do so when I’m feeling down and struggling with depression, so hopefully you will find it helpful too.
The site is formed up of listeners and members/guests. The listeners provide non-judgemental support through either 1-1 chats with the member, or through a group support chatroom. There are many issues that you can choose to discuss with your listener, including anxiety, depression and work stress. I love this website for many reasons, yet most of all I love the general idea to behind it – volunteers (the listeners) helping other people while expecting nothing in return.
When you first log on to the site, you’re welcomed by their friendly bot, Noni, who asks you what type of support you would like (e.g. work stress) so 7 Cups can match you to a suitable listener. The listener then allows you to open up anonymously about anything that you’re struggling with, while they provide non-judgemental support and encouragement, and may give you links to self-help guides to help you with your specific issue or a link to mindfulness breathing techniques to help calm you down after an anxiety or panic attack. All of the listeners go through training through an online course where they develop their ‘Active Listening’ skills and they have to complete a mock chat, so they know how best to help you. You can also browse listeners to find one that will be most suitable for you, in terms of ratings, availability, etc. There are listeners all over the world ready and waiting 24/7 to support you in 189 countries and 140 different languages so you will most likely find one perfect for you. If you choose to browse for a listener, then you have the option of a ‘long term listener’ who you can keep going back to over a longer period of time for more personalised support.
The group support chatrooms are also incredibly supportive as they have different chatrooms for different needs, such as ‘Relationship Support’ and ‘Compassion Corner Chat’. Here, you can talk to other members and guests about their experiences as well as receiving help for your own. You may also meet some moderators in there too, who are there to make sure that the chatrooms remain supportive to minimise any negativity towards yourself or others.
I also love 7 cups because they form a personalised ‘Growth Path’ for both listeners and members. On a member’s path it provides support such as an ‘Emotional Wellness Test’ for the day, or the option to join a sub-community of people with similar issues. While on a listener’s path it teaches you how to be a better listener, as well as reminding you to practice gratitude. There are also opportunities to gain an internship through their Internship Program, which is particularly useful if you’re looking into studying psychology or considering becoming a counsellor in the future. Listeners also have the option of becoming moderators, leading discussions in the chatrooms, and becoming a peer supporter or even a mentor.
If you require further help from someone who is professionally qualified, then they also give the option for you to sign up with a therapist (although you will have to pay for this). There are many therapists to choose from too, from a range of countries and different specialities. So if you’d like any support online through a 1-1 chat, group support chatrooms, or even a forum, then I would recommend seeking the help of ‘7 Cups of Tea’ as I did, as it truly helps. Also, if you’d like to sign up as a listener yourself, then the link is down below.
Links: 7 Cups Website: www.7cups.com Become a listener: www.7cups.com/listener/become-a-volunteer-listener.php