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CHAT-YOUTH – Crisis Help and Assistance for youth during challenging Times

Youth undergo personal and external crises in the current time of changes. Young people seek support and mental help online. There are different kinds of online counselling chat services (OCCS) that aim to support the well-being of young people. CHAT-YOUTH will produce information and facilitate stakeholders to information exchange and ethical reflection to improve the quality of starting and ongoing non-profit OCCS and to capacitate youth work in Europe.

We collect and analyse data about characteristics and good practices of OCCS that support youth (<30) to overcome crisis with human help. In-depth analyses of topics and dialogues are conducted. The research results will be shared and disseminated through participatory activities with European stakeholders and further developed into practical tools. The aim is to facilitate networking that will strengthen the links between research, practice and policy.

CHAT-YOUTH will produce knowledge about OCCS that will help to develop and evaluate ongoing and start new OCCS. A special focus will be on vulnerable groups, including youth from Ukraine. Networking will bring European stakeholders together to share experiences and to discuss quality as well as ethical issues, also after the end of the project.


There will be a meeting in Helsinki on the 22.8.2024. Save the date! More information will be available soon.

NYRIS 16th Nordic Youth Research Symposium June 12-14th, 2024, Tampere, Finland. CHAT-YOUT will arrange the thematic working group number 11. CHAT-services as Crisis help and Assistance for youth during challenging Times.

We focus on building a network of chat-related stakeholders, be it counselors, youth themselves, researchers or board members of chat-organizations. With this growing network we plan to organize six Community of Practice meetings, in which we want to enable European exchange of information about best practices and shortcomings in online chat counseling services for youth. The first Community of Practice meeting was a success and left us with much more to talk about.

The second Community of Practice meeting is planned on Tuesday the 18th of June (11u – 12u30 CET). Anyone wishing to join us, can sign up using the following link (click here).

There after, future CoP meetings are planned on:

  • Tuesday October 1st, 2024 (11-12u30 CET)
  • Tuesday February 11th, 2025 (11-12u30 CET)​
  • Tuesday June 17th, 2025 (11-12u30 CET)​
  • Tuesday September 16th, 2025 (11-12u30 CET)​.

Next to these CoP meetings we will also organize webinars on f.e. training of counselors. Specific dates are not picked yet, but the timeframes in which they will happen are listed below. Finally, we will also organize a Stakeholder symposium in Ghent (Belgium) on the 22nd and 23th of May in 2025.

  • Webinar 1: November/December 2024​
  • Webinar 2: May 2025 (parallel with symposium)​
  • 22-23 May 2025: Stakeholder symposium​
  • Webinar 3: November/December 2025​

If you which to learn more about the CoPs or the webinars, feel free to contact Elke Denayer ( with any questions or suggestions.”

Dissemination aims to contribute to improving OCCS, and eventually support youth in need as well as youth work, research and policy making.


Kick-off meeting for CHAT-YOUTH partners and experts
The hybrid kick-off meeting was arranged on Thursday the 25th of January 2024 in Madrid, Spain.

CHAT-YOUTH arranged a thematic working group called Do chat services for youth build hope? at the XXII Annual Conference of Youth Studies on 8–9th November 2023 in Helsinki, Finland. 


Funding and partners

ERASMUS+ KA220-YOU – Cooperation partnerships in youth.

Alexis Dewaele, Lien Goossens and Elke Denayer, Universiteit Gent, Belgium
Maria Cabello Salmerón and Irati Higuera Lozano, La Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
Katalin Felvinczi, Zsuza Kaló and Rényi Mónika, Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary
Tuuli Pitkänen, Essi Holopainen and Virvatuli Uusimäki, Finnish Youth Research Society, Finland

Start year:
End year:

Essi Holopainen

Master of Social Sciences

Profile of the researcher

Tuuli Pitkänen

PhD, Adjunct professor
Research Manager
+358 41 517 8678

Profile of the researcher