We know that life in the AZC is not easy for LGBTQI+ asylum seekers. It is especially difficult to find someone you can trust and talk to. Choices offers a free anonymous helpline 0800 0333 and live chat service for LGBTQI+ asylum seekers and status holders.
Call 0800 0333 Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or chat with us!
Live chat is available Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday morning, Thursday afternoon, Friday morning and Tuesday evening live chat is there specifically for transgender asylum seekers.
Click the live chat button below
The helpline and live chat will put you in touch with trained LGBTQI+ volunteers and psychologists who can provide immediate support and connect you with the help you need.
On Tuesday evenings from 5 to 9 p.m., we have trained transgender volunteers available to assist transgender asylum seekers seeking support while in transition within the AZC.
All volunteers speak multiple languages: we understand your needs in your own language! Every day there is someone who can speak to you in English or another language such as Arabic, Dutch, Farsi, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Ukrainian or Russian.
Contact our trained volunteers by calling us toll free on 0800 0333 Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Below is who is available on what day, what time and what languages they speak. Everyone speaks English. If you want to speak to someone who speaks your language, check the list below to find the right person.
If you want, you can also download the Choices app for treatment, testing and wellness. You can do this by scanning the QR code above or by clicking on the link. The Choices app allows you to connect to a network of "queer-friendly" services in the Netherlands. The Choices app is an online healthcare network and is available in English, Dutch and Arabic.
The volunteers at Choices Support Center are all trained and among them are also several psychologists ready to answer a variety of calls for you. Our comprehensive training includes multiple modules such as counseling skills, active listening, conflict resolution, role play and the asylum process. Additional training includes: suicide prevention, incidents of sexual violence; HIV/SOA testing; PrEP information and problematic drug use. Choices volunteers receive clinical supervision and administrative support.
Upon written request, we are happy to share our training program and procedures. Choices' toll-free helpline operates according to the helpline quality standards developed by Child Helpline International, Red Cross Crisis Call Centers and Red Cross Psychological First Aid Field Worker guidelines.
My name is Behnam. I was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. I have a master's degree in educational technology. I recently moved to the Netherlands to live in a peaceful and supportive community for the rest of my life. As a member of the Choices family and as a helpline volunteer, I am fully aware of the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community and the difficulties they face, such as punishment, discrimination, torture, imprisonment, and in some countries even the death penalty. The Helpline provides you with emotional support to overcome difficult situations, guidance in navigating mental health care, and connecting with Choices psychologists when needed. I also provide information about our programs and services. Call me on Mondays from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM to confidentially share your feelings, emotions, and concerns, in English or Farsi. EN/FA.
My name is Jason. I was born in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. I now live in Heerhugowaard. As an asylum seeker, in order to reach my goal, I experienced many difficult situations. This has inspired and motivated me to help others who are in the same position as me. If I can get through all those difficult situations, then anyone can! I keep abreast of current events and world news and want to stand up for others who do not have the strength to do so themselves. I am driven to see others succeed, to become who they were meant to become. I support LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and want to fight, the best fight ever, to help others feel respected and accepted in our new country. I answer the helpline on Monday afternoons from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. Call me. AND/HI.
My name is Peter Shoukry, I was born in Cairo, Egypt where I earned a bachelor's degree in Applied Arts. I am gay and proud, I decided to move to the Netherlands to seek protection. Being gay and living in Egypt with a Coptic Christian religious family in a homophobic society was extremely stressful, unsafe and insecure. I fought to move on and be myself. Now I volunteer at Choices where I can help people like me fight for a better life. You are the one who draws the path in your own life. At Choices, we support you to make more informed choices. Call me on Tuesday mornings 10:00 am - 1:00 pm. I speak Arabic or English. AR/EN
My name is Gaukhar and I am from Kazakhstan. I studied psychology at the University of Padova in Italy. I have always wanted to contribute to making psychological help more accessible. That's why I volunteer at Choices because the helpline offers an easy opportunity to talk to someone who is a psychologist. I have experience in Counseling Psychology and I speak both English and Russian. If you feel like talking about something that is bothering you, or if you have inner conflicts, such as coping with stress, being alone in the AZC, problems with drug abuse, or just looking for a non-judgmental listener, don't hesitate and call me on Tuesday afternoons from 1:00 - 5:00 pm. (EN/RU).
Transgender Tuesday nights. Every Tuesday night from 5pm - 9pm, the helpline and live chats are available specifically for transgender asylum seekers and status holders. Click on the online live chat button at the bottom of the page or call 0800 0333.
On Tuesdays from 5 to 9 p.m., you can talk or chat with well-known activists from the transgender community who know about trans-specific issuesand living in the AZC. For example, you can get information about hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and starting your transition in the Netherlands in general.
My name is Sam and I am Palestinian. I was born and raised in Dubai, where I went to school and obtained a bachelor's degree in nursing. I worked in mental health/psychiatry for 10 years. Living in Dubai, I spent most of my life "in the closet," but I decided it was time to get out. That's why I came to the Netherlands, where I can really be who I want to be and not be judged by anyone. Here in the Netherlands, I can be an active member of Choices and help others become who they want to be. I am fluent in English and Arabic. I am available on the helpline every Wednesday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. (AR/EN).
Hello, my name is Rose. I was born in Munich and have French roots. At seventeen I moved to Amsterdam, where I pursued a bachelor's degree in psychology. I am currently a master's student at UVA studying Health and Medical Psychology, researching therapeutic skills and impactful health interventions. My studies in Gender & Sexuality have confronted me with the reality of intersectional injustice and systemic oppression related to race, sexual orientation and gender identity. As a volunteer at Choices, I look forward to providing unwavering support and helpful conversations with members of our community living in the AZCs. You can contact me any Wednesday from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. I am there to listen. I speak French, German and English (FR, DE, EN).
My name is Alma. I am half Spanish, half German and will be completing my Bachelor's degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Amsterdam in 2021. I studied psychology because I truly believe in the power of helping others discover their inner strength and potential. Last year I worked at a child support service in Berlin, where my main role was to offer advice and guidance, using empathy and compassion to help them overcome challenges during their stay in the institution. I would like to expand my support, which is why I volunteer at Choices. I am committed to LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and hope to make an impact by making sure they receive the respect and acceptance they deserve. I hope I can help you find comfort, safety and a sense of belonging. Call me on Thursdays from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm. (EN/DE/ESP).
My name is Alina and I was born in Kazakhstan. I graduated in psychology from the University of Amsterdam, with a specialization in clinical and social psychology. I also volunteered to provide psychological support to victims of the war in Ukraine. I am immensely aware of the unique struggle of the Russian-speaking LGBTQIA+ community at the intersection of political, religious and social persecution. As a Choices Helpline volunteer, I strive to provide the best support I can. Feel free to call me on Wednesdays from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. if you need help or just someone to listen to you. (EN/RU).
I am Sabina (she/he/she/they), and I recently became a volunteer at Choices to support the helpline. My personal journey as a refugee and my years of working experience with refugees have made me realize the importance of having access to mental support, especially in challenging life circumstances. For LGBTQIA+ asylum seekers, life inside the AZC can be particularly tough. Even after fleeing violence in their country of origin to a safe country, it does not always offer them a safer place within the AZC. As someone with a passion for human rights, I hope to be able to offer help to individuals going through difficult times in AZCs and make a positive impact. Call me on Fridays from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm. (EN/RU/NL).
Hello, my name is Bouke. I am currently a student of Applied Psychology at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. I have spent much of my life struggling about my own identity, constantly wearing masks to make myself look different than who I really was. This personal struggle unfortunately led me to a devastating drug addiction. However, like the tide that eventually changes, there came a turning point in my life. Today, I am proud of who I am, free from the shadows of my past. At Choices, I offer a listening ear, a voice of understanding, and guidance for those navigating the same storms I once experienced. Whether you're struggling with yourself, battling substance abuse, or just need someone to listen without judgment, I'm here for you. Together we can brave the waves of life and reach a safer harbor. Call me (EN/NL)
Choices welcomes anyone who would like to volunteer with us. We kindly ask you to fill out an application form on our website. Upon receipt of your application, we will see if you will be invited for an interview. Because answering helpline calls requires specific skills, not everyone who applies will be considered.
The application process is a two-step process. All potential volunteers are first interviewed by the director. After the first stage is completed, the selected person is interviewed and screened by our psychologist to ensure that this person is capable of answering the helpline. We want to make sure that all our volunteers are psychologically prepared and emotionally strong enough to talk to callers who are under great emotional stress and struggling with trauma, isolation and PTSD