At least twice a month, Duane answers a call from a university or college student who is thinking of committing suicide.He’s a front-line counsellor for Ontario’s new post-secondary mental health line, which now fields a staggering 1,000 calls a month on everything from mid-terms to missing home. Some 5 per cent of callers say the problem is so grim, they can’t go on.
That’s 50 Ontario students every month.
“We know, because in these cases we ask directly: ‘Are you thinking about harming yourself? Have you thought about how you might do it?’ and ‘Do you have a tool for accomplishing that?’” said Duane, who, like all counsellors at Good2Talk, uses his real first name with callers but keeps his surname private due to the confidential nature of the help-line.