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Preguntas Frecuentes COVID-19

What on earth is this "HEAR BUDS" service?

Well, we are a volunteer-based ground-up initiative started by ordinary Singaporeans. There were times in our lives when we had no one to turn to, when all we hoped for was someone who would simply listen without judgement or give unwarranted advice. Our HEAR BUDS service is about providing one-to-one real time listening and friendship over a Zoom 1) Video, 2) Voice call or 3) Chat session. It's a space where you can talk about anything - be it your struggles or about a specific problem in your life. Each session is 40-minutes long. It's entirely confidential, judgment-free and a space for you to share openly with a real person who has gone through listening training. It's a space to be the real you.

How much does a HEAR BUD cost?

We believe that everyone should have access to someone to talk to about their struggles. No Singaporean should ever suffer alone. That's why this service is absolutely FREE.

Who is a HEAR BUD?

All HEAR BUDs are volunteers that are selected through an interview and screening process. They either already have a background in professional listening or counselling, or will undergo a training program. Their coaching continues on-the-job, until a stage when they feel entirely comfortable to listen on their own. We welcome HEAR BUDs from all backgrounds and walks of life. Drop us an email if you're interested in joining our community of friendly listeners!

When should I use this listening service?

The simple answer? Anytime you feel like it! This service is our little initiative to bridge the gap between going for professional counselling or therapy. At times, we all just need a friendly listening ear. There is no problem too small - whether it is you're struggling with work or school, going through relationship issues, or just need someone to talk to - try us out :)

Can I talk about anything to my HEAR BUD?

Firstly, there is no problem too small to talk about! Our Listening service is judgment-free, confidential and private. We welcome you to talk openly about your problems or struggles, including:

  • A specific problem that you're dealing with.
  • Relationship issues.
  • Dilemmas relating to work, school or life in general.
  • Feeling lonely and wanting to connect with someone.
  • A place to simply chat and be heard.
That said, the following topics are absolutely not allowed while using our service:
  • Any hate speech: defined as attacks on people's race, religion, sexual orientation, mental health, or serious disease or disability.
  • Sex Chats: This is not the place for it.
  • Personal information: no solicitation of any personal information, whether from our HEAR FRIENDS or of other users’ personal information.
  • Criminal intentions or confessions: as confidential as we hope our chats to be, we are not allowed to lawfully withhold information should there be mention of a crime or planning of a crime.
  • Any of the below topics: we are not qualified for to help in those areas. Do seek the right channel and resources instead.
Some topics are also beyond the abilities of our HEAR BUDS. If you experience any of the issues below, we are unable to assist. Instead, please do immediately seek professional advice. Check more on our resources page.
  • Suicidal thoughts or self-harm
  • Domestic Violence
  • Mental or Physical Health conditions
  • Teenage Pregnancy
  • Financial Assistance

Who can use this service?

We welcome all Singaporeans aged 18+ to book a HEAR BUD! We are still working out a safe and legally-abiding route to serve those under the age of 18. For now, if that's you, you can find more resources under our resources page. Before using our services, please also note that some topcis would be encouraged by us to talk about, as well as some the topics that are not allowed. You can read more in the next question.

Is this considered counselling or therapy?

No. This service is not a replacement for professional counselling or psychotherapy. Our Listeners are not trained clinical professionals and cannot give advice or therapy on medical, mental or health issues. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please contact the relevant emergency hotline or see your doctor immediately.

How would listening help?

Well, we strongly believe that the simple act of talking to someone about your difficulties, however big or small will have benefits for you. It is this simplicity of being properly listened to that we are advocating. There is no judgement here or anything complicated. Most of all, there is no stigma. You simply need to talk and we will listen and reflect.

Do HEAR BUDs abide by any Code of Ethics?

Like mentioned above - we are NOT counsellors, therapists, mental health professionals, nor are we life coaches. Thus, as we are not part of the above professions, their code of ethics are not suited for this avenue. To be absolutely clear, we strive to be a community of people that simply want to tune into the struggles of others. We want to help purely via the mechanism of establishing human connection and a safe listening space. That said, our HEAR BUDs abide by the following general guidelines:

  1. To listen non-judgmentally and acceptingly.
  2. To be genuine.
  3. To help and not to harm.
  4. To not take calls or go into conversations that we are incapable or unqualified of going into.
  5. To encourage individuals to seek the right avenues should they mention it.
  6. To keep the contents of the conversation and any personal information you share before, during or after the call confidential - unless required strictly by the Law. The only reasons we would violate confidentiality is any intention of harm to yourself, to other people, or when you fear for someone’s life.
If you have any questions about this, do email us as

How does it work?

You can browse our HEAR BUDS on this page. Find a time that fits you and that HEAR BUD. When you book, please indicate if you prefer: 1. A Video Call 2. A Voice Call 3. Text only. After that, read through the disclaimers and give your HEAR BUD some notice about what you wanted to talk about. Then Book It!!! Following that, you'll receive a zoom link in your email. Whether it is you've selected video, voice or text, everything will be held in zoom! When the scheduled time arrives, join that zoom link and start chatting! We'll be listening :)

How many times can I have a free session?

FOREVER. Well, as long as you need it, we'll be here :)

Is it safe for me to use?

We only ask for your nick name and email so we can send you a zoom link. Only your selected Hear Bud and Adminstrator will see this detail. Every Hear Bud has signed a confidentiality form vowing to keep all shared information under wraps. If you aren't uncomfortable with video, you can always opt for voice or text via zoom - this means you don't have to turn your video on if you don't want to! Whatever happens in the conversation stays confidentiality. The only exceptions are mentions or intentions of suicide, self-harm, harm to others including abuse, or criminal confessions or intentions. We are not able to take calls of that matter - and are also obliged by law to break confidentiality if such circumstances arise. Otherwise, yes, it's safe and we respect your confidentiality :)

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