January 17, 2021

BY TASHA LUNNY

With school work and debt piling high, life as a student can be tough. A new telephone helpline offers information and counselling anytime, anywhere to post-secondary students across the province.

Good2Talk is a bilingual service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They offer the assistance of professional counsellors who are dedicated to helping college and university students with a variety of problems as well as giving referrals and information about where to get additional help.

“Specialists on the phone … can refer persons to services in the local area or areas the students prefers (for) on- and off-campus supports,” said Conestoga counsellor Lynn Robbins White.

With Conestoga Counselling Services only being open during certain hours throughout the week, Robbins White thinks that Good2Talk is a great way to make assistance available around the clock.

“It’s great in complement with us because it’s after-hours and students can get access to it,” she said. “It can break down the stigma too. They talk to that person first and (the counsellor) can recommend someone who they would feel comfortable coming to on campus.”

Robbins White believes Good2Talk’s individualized service can help the student demographic because they have “their own unique needs, questions and issues.” With  one phone call a Conestoga student can get help with anything from academic, family, mental health or addiction problems to accessing information about where they can find support groups, financial aid information, health/medical services and more.

As a counsellor who works closely with students everyday Robbins White is more than aware of the stigma surrounding mental health problems. She hopes this new avenue of information will make it easier for people to come forward and seek help.

“This is a really good resource for us,” Robbins White said. “We do have a lot of students who come to our counselling services but I know there could be a lot more. Some really would feel more comfortable maybe connecting with a group like Good2Talk first to find out what is available.”

The helpline is also 100 per cent anonymous. Good2Talk does not track phone numbers or personal information although they may ask for a school or postal code to be able to supply referrals to services in that area. They are obligated by law to contact authorities if callers pose an imminent threat to themselves or others.

For more information about Good2Talk, counselling assistance or referrals contact Good2Talk toll free at 1-866-925-5454 or connect through 2-1-1, the special abbreviated phone number that connects people to information and referrals to health, human and social service organization.

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