Skip to main content
We have four free, direct support services so you can get one-on-one help if and when you can't find what you need on the website, you need extra information or don't understand something you've read, or when you want support, help, advice or discussion from our staff, volunteers or peer community members.
The message boards can fit nearly every bill. You can ask simple questions and have them answered quickly, or can have ongoing discussions over time -- be that hours, days, weeks or even months -- either with staff and volunteers, peer users, or both. Longer or more complex topics are best for the message boards rather than for our chat or text services. Message board posts are public, so if you're not comfortable having your questions or conversations be seen and kept public, even when your name and no identifying information is in them, you should not post on the boards.
Our boards are strongly moderated by staff and volunteers, but our community is truly so excellent that more times than not, there's little for us to moderate because our users are so great to one another, all by themselves. The boards are an anonymous service so long as you follow our guidelines about privacy, like picking a username you do not use anywhere else and does not personally identify you in any way, and do not post any personally identifying information.
Best for: Almost anything, be it simple questions or in-depth, involved discussions over time. Also best for when you want both staff and volunteer engagement AND discussion with peers, or primarily peer-to-peer discussion.
How fast will you be answered? Anywhere from a few minutes to within 24 hours.
The SMS (text) service is a question and answer service available for those with mobile phones and the capacity to send and receive text messages. You may text a question, and it will be answered, and only seen, by our staff or volunteers.
There is no cost for this beyond what your mobile provider charges you when sending or receiving any text message. Due to mobile provider restrictions, our mobile service can only be used by those within the United States at this time.
Best for: Quick, shorter and simpler questions and answers on the fly, such as when you're away from a computer and need to know where you can get emergency contraception or need to know if a condom was put on correctly, or when you're trying to find something on the site and need help with a link. The SMS service is not intended for longer, ongoing discussions, nor questions where you have to start by inputting several text messages right from the start.
How fast will you be answered? Within a few hours to 24 hours.
A real-time popup chat window, staffed and seen only by you and our staff and volunteers. It works like an IM conversation or Facebook chat.
Best for: Quick, shorter questions and answers on the fly, help finding or understanding content on the site, help finding in-person care or help, or situations where where you want or need some one-on-one, private support. It does require your immediate and full attention, however, so if you want to be able to come and go throughout a conversation, especially with lapses of several minutes, hours or days, or want to multitask, the boards or SMS service should be used instead.
How fast will you be answered? Our chat hours are currently:
Monday: 10:00 - 12: 00 / 3:00 - 5:00 PST
Tuesday: 10:00 - 12: 00 / 3:00 - 5:00 PST
Thursday: 10:00 - 12: 00 / 3:00 - 5:00 PST
Friday: 10:00 - 12: 00 / 3:00 - 5:00 PST
Sunday: 10:00 - 12: 00 / 3:00 - 5:00 PST
During those hours, you will typically be answered within a few minutes. Due to limited staffing, however, chat sometimes may not be available during all of those times. As well, if we are staffed and slow in other areas, we may sometimes have chat available on different days or hours. To see when we are and are not in chat, you can always take a look on the sidebar to the left there for the graphic that tells you if live chat is on or offline.
New: We now offer limited appointments for chat with Scarleteen founder and director Heather Corinna if you would like to speak with her specifically. If you would like to make one, you can do so via this link, by selecting the user chat option at the bottom of the list of options on that page. Please only do so if you fully intend to keep your appointment. These appointments should only be used by users with special or very involved needs, not for things like pregnancy scares or general information. This option is also only available for young people under 30.
Chat & Pregnancy Scares: We will no longer discuss some pregnancy risk concerns (especially around things that do not pose any risks) or ongoing pregnancy fears in our chat service, particularly if a person concerned they may be pregnant either has not yet taken a pregnancy test, or has taken some, but refuses to believe them. We are happy to provide links to existing pregnancy risk content in chat, however, and are willing to discuss pregnancy issues like: support when making an actual pregnancy choice, how and when to use emergency contraception or other contraception, or how to figure out, and negotiate with partners, what kinds of sex you want and feel able to handle, as well as the use of contraception and/or safer sex. We also will not engage in arguments about pregnancy risk information with users who find themselves incapable or unwilling to accept the facts about human reproduction, and all that is required for it to occur.
This is because it has become very clear to us chat -- specifically -- is a nonproductive tool for these kinds of discussions, both for us as a staff and for our users. Our aim and intent is to serve you as best we can, as well as to run our services in a way that's manageable for our staff, so we hope you can get on board in accepting this limit.
The index of the advice columns is here, to give you a sense of the kind of engaged, professional and in-depth answers it provides.
Best for: More involved, complex situations where you want a longer, in-depth answer, but can wait days, weeks or even months for your answer. Questions and situations which are NOT time-sensitive (like pregnancy risks or scares, current health problems, or help you need to find as soon as possible). Questions and answers you are comfortable having published widely for all to see (even though they should not ever contain any identifying information where anyone reading could know it was you asking).
How fast will you be answered? As noted on the input form, most advice questions will never be answered, particularly if we've already written a column that has already answered a question. Otherwise, the wait can be anywhere from a day or two to several months.The advice column is intended for longer, in-depth answers to issues that are not particularly time sensitive or immediate. It is acceptable to leave your question in the queue, but then also bring to another of our direct services for a more immediate and guaranteed answer.
All of Scarleteen and its services are intended to expressly provide information, education and support within the scope of sex and sexuality, sexual health and relationships. That means things like: