New One 2 One Gives Students More Peer Counseling OptionsBy Aileen Tang
A new anonymous student-staffed peer help-line, One 2 One, has been established to provide support to people with questions about sexuality, relationships, and sexual health.
One 2 One replaces the Contact Line, which used to be run by Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transgendered, and Friends at MIT, which was discontinued due to low call volume. "We're a whole new, separate entity," said Sara A Perry '99, who staffs One 2 One.
"Contact Line dealt [primarily] with issues of coming out," said Jonathan S. Morris G, a One 2 One staffer. One 2 One handles relationship issues on a broader basis.
"Some of the topics we are here to talk about are safer sex, birth control, pregnancy resources, sexually transmitted infections, relationship problems, and related issues,"Morris said.
In contrast to Nightline, another anonymous student help-line that provides general support, One 2 One focuses on relationship issues. All staff members receive special training in areas of sexual health and listening skills.
Relationships, training stressed
Staffers are trained by members of the Medical Department. In addition, the staff holds regular support meetings to discuss and share ideas on issues they have dealt with. New members are required to go through a day of training and observe several staff discussion meetings before being on the staff.
According to Perry, an example of an important problem at MITis unwanted pregnancy. But a common problem, especially with MITstudents, is that "people don't want to ask for help and admit that they don't understand something,"Perry said. The anonymous nature of One 2 One is an effective means to providing support.
"Our purpose is to listen and provide information, not to give advice,"saidPerry. "The callers [themselves] are best qualified to decide what goes on in their lives."
One 2 One will pose as a counseling resource to residential tutors, housemasters, and the Medical Department's student Medlinks.
The help-line is directly funded and advised through Counseling and Support Services at the Dean's Office.
One 2 One is staffed Sunday through Wednesday from 8 p.m. to midnight. They can be reached at 253-6460.