Good2Talk, a helpline for post-secondary students in Ontario, will be creating a lounge at Wilfrid Laurier University on March 16 and 17 for students to learn more about the resources available to them in a safe, calming environment.
Good2Talk’s outreach coordinator Megan Van Massenhoven explained that Good2Talk is a free and confidential service that is available 24 hours, seven days a week, all year-round.
“Anyone who calls the helpline can get information in French or English about services and supports on their campus or in their local community, like off-campus mental health services. Or they can speak to a counsellor right on the phone,” Van Massenhoven said.
The idea behind creating the lounge on campuses for students is to essentially recreate a similar environment which would mimic the experience of calling Good2Talk.
The lounge, which will run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the concourse, will include couches and bean bag chairs, providing a space for students to unwind, relax and hangout while learning about the services Good2Talk offers.
As well, there will be free giveaways and a masseuse will be present to give free massages for students who stop by.
“We feel as though the experience when you call Good2Talk is that you feel a little bit of that pressure taken off, a little bit of a safe space to talk to somebody about what’s going on,” Van Massenhoven said.
“A lot of people have said you know it reminds them of their living room … that’s exactly what we’re going for, to make people feel at home and comfortable while learning about, and hopefully accessing, the service when they need it.”
Ultimately, the goal of the lounge is to expose students to the calming environment that they provide, especially if students are currently unaware of Good2Talk’s services.
“We want them to see the lounge and remember that Good2Talk is available to them all the time, even if they don’t need it right now … they might have a friend who needs help finding a service on campus or needs someone to talk to,” Van Massenhoven said.
As well, Good2Talk may be beneficial for students who need assistance outside of typical hours offered by on-campus mental health services.
“Having that information will be vital down the road when they need to access it,” she said.
“This is the first time we’ve done a big marketing campaign like this where we have something like an event on campus and it’s been really well-received. We would like to bring it to as many campuses as possible.”