The Kids Help Phone – a 24-hour telephone and online service providing counselling and support to children and youth – now has an older sibling.

Good2Talk, which operates 24/7, 365 days a year, is a telephone helpline aimed specifically at postsecondary students aged 17 to 25. Callers can speak confidentially and anonymously with a professional counsellor, and also get connected to community resources about mental health, addiction, financial challenges, housing and other issues.

“Good2Talk really grew out of a concern for the mental health and wellbeing of postsecondary students, who can have unique concerns,” explains Gayle Browne, one of Good2Talk’s counsellors. “It can be a difficult time of life – so we provide immediate help to students who are facing challenges with the transition to postsecondary school, who may be dealing with addiction, mental health issues, or simply facing stresses they’re not sure how to deal with.”

Callers can also speak with information and resource specialists, who can connect students with services both on- and off-campus.

For Maureen Carnegie, a counsellor who works in Humber’s Disability Services office, Good2Talk is a valuable complement to Humber’s existing student services.

“A lot of students don’t know what services are available on-campus, so Good2Talk can be a starting point to helping them access the supports that already exist,” explains Carnegie, who is currently providing Mental Health First Aid training to colleges across Ontario. “And if students are self-conscious about getting help at school, Good2Talk provides a confidential and anonymous safe place to talk and, hopefully, find out about more resources, either at school or within the community.”

Browne encourages students to call, even if they think the problem is insignificant.

“No problem is too small, nothing is too trivial,” she says. “Whether you’re dealing with a relationship issue, with financial troubles, or just stressed out, you can reach out completely anonymously, and know that your concerns will be completely confidential. When you’re in distress, you can feel like you’re the only one with problems – and we’re here to help.”

Students can access Good2Talk at 416-925-5454 or by calling 211 and asking for Good2Talk.