Help at Your Fingertips: How 7 Cups of Tea Saves Lives

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Kristina Wyman's picture
Katie Akers

Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.

However, sometimes that light has to be pointed in our eyes by someone else in order to realize that we aren’t alone.

As a college student, we have resources for whatever we may need: research help, tips on how to eat healthy, ways to manage your time and the most important, free counseling help if you ever find that you need it.

Although it is given to us in many e-mails, and told to us by administrators, we college students find it hard to have time for us—so that we can talk to someone and unload the stress that accumulates in a week.

Between five classes that you have to attend, the large amounts of homework that comes along with it and the extra-curricular activities that help boost our resume, it’s hard to regulate that special time to relax and work on ourselves.

We are all guilty of it. We stay up at all hours of the night most of the time, struggle to find time to shower and even debate when we have time to eat.

It may come as a surprise for many, but help has finally caught up to technology, as there is now an app that allows you to talk to trained listeners, at any time of day, and also range in topics such as depression, anxiety, break-ups and traumatic experiences.

Founder and CEO Glen Moriarty came up with the idea of 7 Cups of Tea in June of 2013 and launched the app for iPhones in 2014 and the version for Android phones was recently released.

“I was thinking about offline behaviors that haven’t yet moved online. For example, dating was once a behavior that occurred offline and then it moved online. While I was researching this, I was talking to my wife about a personal problem (she is a therapist). I thought to myself, ‘I'm so thankful Nikki is a therapist. What do people do who do not have a therapist for a spouse?’ It was then that it struck me. One behavior that is offline, that hasn’t yet moved online is listening,” Moriarty said in an e-mail.

Graduating in 2002 with a degree in psychology, Moriarty set out to change the world of how people receive help because the times are ever changing and so is how people communicate.

“If you have good friends or family members you can trust then you are golden. If you don’t, then you typically have to go to therapy to have someone listen to you. Therapy, however, can be intimidating, inconvenient and expensive. I thought we should create an alternative where anyone—regardless of time, language or country—can open an app or visit our site and receive support; be listened to by a caring and non-judgmental person,” he said. “We now have 85,000 supportive conversations a week; over 70,000 listeners from 150 countries providing support in over 130 languages.”

Moriarty states that the app was meant to make people know that they aren’t alone in this world, that there is someone always there to help you when you need it the most.

“We are building the emotional support system for the Internet. No matter where you are, no matter your background, no matter your language, we want you to be able to click a button and get support,” he stated.

With the impressive number of 85,000 people a week being helped by the trained listeners, Moriarty shared a story from a woman who received help.

“I realized something today about your website and I thought I would share it. [You] don’t fix any of my problems. Classes are still hard, people still say mean things and work is still stressful. Since becoming a member you have solved exactly 0 of my problems; and yet, my life has drastically changed. Because being able to talk about it, being able to get it out without it brewing and festering inside of me, has made all the difference,” she shared with Moriarty. “There are times when I sit in class and think ‘I wish I had a friend to tell this to,’ and then I remember that I do, 24 hours a day, seven days a week there is someone who will listen to my story, or support me as I head off to take a test. So, know that even though you didn’t fix any problems you made them all bearable by offering your compassion. Thank you, Lindsey.”

She isn’t the only one with positive feedback on the app. On the online website there are multiple accounts of how 7 Cups of Tea changed people’s lives, because having it on their phone was that much easier and reduced the pressure of going to a therapist and the stigma with which it comes.

“You are not alone. We all need real human connection. There is no issue to small. If you’d like to talk to someone, then we are here to listen. We are kind, compassionate and non-judgmental,” Moriarty said.

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