How Aldrig Alene uses TalkJS chat to bring mental health care to young people (Case Study)

Aldrig Alene (Danish for “Never Alone”) is a voluntary organization in Denmark that helps children and young people who are lonely, scared, or have difficulties at school. They provide counseling and guidance with the help of dozens of trained volunteers that are trained by psychologists and therapists.

At first, the volunteers were doing counseling by a phone call or email, but soon realized they could reach even more young people with their website. A real-time chat would provide faster support to those in need. The idea was to implement a chat solution where young people can contact their personal counselor.

We talked with Jan Hjørdie, the co-founder and developer at Aldrig Alene. He explained the ins and outs of their chat setup and looked back on the challenges they had with choosing the right solution.

“I think we have passed around 300.000 messages with the youngsters, and have helped several hundred. And even some of the really tough cases.”

—— Jan Hjørdie

Challenges

Aldrig Alene needed a chat platform where a large team of trained counsellors, more than fifty, can be easily available to anyone in need of help. Each young person has a dedicated counsellor they would talk to regularly.

aldrig alene talkjs chat

The main chat features they needed:

  • Users can choose whom they want to talk to
  • Users can choose to be 100% anonymous
  • A user always has the same adult to talk to
  • Complete conversation history
  • 24/7 chat availability

When they started looking for possible solutions, they tested multiple live chat providers, but none of them supported all the necessary features. Most of all, the possibility for users to continue the conversation where they left.

I spent so much time testing LiveChat, until I found out you weren’t able to continue a conversation. And that was essential for our system!

—— Jan Hjørdie

Essentially, what the Aldrig Alene team needed was a persistent chat. Where users can get back to the messages later, with complete conversation history.

Solution

They chose the TalkJS Chat API and created their own solution. The chat is embedded into their website and allows a particular young person to select their counselor and start a conversation.

Using TalkJS meant that Aldrig Alene didn’t need to worry about setting up infrastructure or building their own UI to power their real-time chat.

It was lightweight, simple to implement, cost-effective and has great support.

—— Jan Hjørdie

TalkJS ensures that ongoing conversations remain confidential, and that the children can remain in contact with their dedicated counsellor.

aldrig alene talkjs chat api

Results

After the chat went live on the Aldrig Alene website, they noticed that there are many more young people in need of help than previously thought. Up to now, the volunteers have exchanged more than 300.000 messages with young people.

Nowadays, the chat solution is the primary tool they use for counseling. The young people can visit the website, see if their counselor is available, and immediately start a conversation. The solution allows the user to be anonymous, and it also preserves the entire conversation history for them.

Aldrig Alene would definitely not be here today at that state we are now if we didn’t have TalkJS on our website.

—— Jan Hjørdie