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CIO Spotlight: Madison House HELP Line



University of Virginia


CIO Spotlight: Madison House HELP Line

Free, Anonymous, Confidential. 24/7.

Chelsea Li


With over 700 CIOs on grounds, it makes a lot of sense that many of them are doing really cool things. One organization that particularly stands out to me (and not just because I’m in it), is Madison House: the central volunteer-hub for UVA students. Madison House offers a variety of programs, where volunteers may immerse themselves in anything - from mentoring kids to working at the local animal shelter to even being a crisis hotline volunteer.

The program I want to focus on today is Madison House’s HELP Line. It is a 24-hour confidential and anonymous hotline for UVA students and members of the Charlottesville community. Callers are connected to trained UVA students who listen attentively and without judgement, and provide them with guidance on how to think and proceed. You can call about any issue, such as how to handle stress from classes, questions about sexuality, or if you’re just feeling lonely and want someone to talk to. HELP Line’s motto is, “We are here to talk, no problem is too big or too small.”

I personally started volunteering with them my first semester at UVA, and I’ve been passionately involved ever since. Though I am not currently on-line and taking calls, I am part of the Outreach team, raising awareness for HELP Line as a resource. Having personally experienced the loss of a friend as well as the constant stress of school, I feel that people need to know that they are not alone, and that there are people who truly care about them and are ready to help.

To each and every one of my readers: Please don't hesitate to reach out if you are in need. Also, keep an eye out for the people around you and be the helping hand that reaches out to a friend who may be struggling. You may be surprised to find out what kind of difference you can make.

If you are part of a CIO or group that you think might benefit from a HELP Line presentation to explain what they do and train you to be an empathetic, supportive listener, feel free to fill out a FOA/Presentation Request at

HELP Line’s number is 434-295-TALK.
More information on this organization (as well as how to join) can be found on the Madison House website as well as at