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How the Helpline Works

As of August 19, 2022, the NANJ Helpline is using the Yap system. This system was developed and is maintained by members of the NA fellowship. More information on Yap can be found here https://bmlt.app (our previous system was in operation since August 20, 1998).

The following information is being provided to Area Helpline and Public Information Committees, so that it can be explained to NA members how our present Helpline System works. In the past there have been misconceptions. This description is exact:

1. This is a statewide Helpline, not a hotline; calls are answered by Helpline Volunteers who are NA members. Our system answers calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are never closed, however volunteers may or may not be available to answer calls at any given time.

2. We have a phone number, 732-933-0462. The caller pays for the call. It is answered  by our automated system which gives the caller a choice of speaking to a Helpline Volunteer or searching for meeting inromation. The system also provides our website address for virtual meetings and general information.

3. Additionally, we support a toll-free number, 1-800-992-0401.  The fellowship ultimately pays for these calls through group donations. Calls to the 800 number are handled in the exact same manner as calls to the local 732 number. The 800 number is accessible in New Jersey only.

4. Our Helpline volunteers are not scheduled by time or day. It is very important that our Helpline volunteers have voicemail available. The voicemail greeting must be clear and simple, not bizarre. It is most important that the volunteer responds to the phone message as soon as possible. If  the volunteer's phone is not private, other members of the household must be made aware that Helpline calls will be received. It is imperative that if anyone else picks up a Helpline call, that a simple message be taken, without any questioning. This is serious.

5. If a Helpline volunteer moves or changes phone numbers, they must let their Area PI or Helpline Chair know. We are only as good as the information we receive.

6. The Statewide Helpline Committee verifies all Helpline Volunteers once per year by calling them each. If the volunteer does not answer, a voicemail is left. If the call is not returned by the volunteer, a second voicemail is left. If the call is still not returned, the volunteer is removed from the list of active volunteers. Other reasons for removal of Helpline Volunteers include: request by the volunteer to be removed; wrong or disconnected phone number; inability to leave voicemail, loss of abstinence, no longer active in NA etc.

7. Our statewide Helpline is a shared service between the NNJRSC and the NJRSC. Our NJ Statewide Meeting Directory is also a shared service. Both Regions, serving all groups, share the expenses.

It is our hope that this explanation clears up any discrepancies about our present Helpline system.