HearMe app: A wellness platform to talk to a trained listener
Isolation by itself is strenuous to bear, not to mention isolation amidst a pandemic. Sure, work and the occasional Zoom meets might be good distractions to ease the silence, but for those without a trusty support system in their lives, the mental perils of being binded indoors could be more detrimental than the virus itself. Under no circumstances should loneliness be dubbed as a dirty word.
A probable aid — HearMe, is a free platform to support anyone across the world looking for peer-to-peer emotional support. All conversations are on text, where users can connect with one of the app's trained listeners. It comes down to the relief of being heard. Akin to feeling a burden lifted after telling your friend about a problem — even if the problem still remains.
HearMe's listeners are made up of volunteers who wish to be a source of support for anyone. All of them go through a training course (designed by a professional communication coach and practical instructor), which enables them to help people in need, while forging authentic connections, and improving well-being. In every chat, they play a part in getting people to open up, resolve conflict, and build trust and self-esteem.
Users first get to choose which topics they want to talk about — varying from 'Work & Productivity', 'LGBTQ+ & Identity', to 'I Just Want To Talk'. You may also select the age group of your listener, whether you would like someone of your age or a person that's slightly older that might enlighten you from a different perspective.
Conversations can continue for as long as you may wish, but in the next session, you'll be paired with a different listener. If for instance, you have formed an affable bond with your listener, you can choose to have a dedicated chat with him or her, by going back to it time and time again.
But how does it differ from talk therapy? Well, the listeners here aren't trained therapists, but what they do is offer social and emotional support through dialogue, advice, and shared experiences. The app isn't a crisis hotline and not to be taken as a substitute for therapy, as listeners won't be providing any psychological or clinical diagnoses.
It might be an app corroborated by technology, but behind it, are real people — makeshift friends sans the judgement or cringy body language. These might be the conversations to make a difference, if you let them.