We’d Love to Hear from You

Share how the helpline has made a difference in your life and those around you. 

Whether it was learning how to deal with family conflict, getting advice on school choices or just having someone to talk to—let us know what ConnecTeen meant for you! 

Help us share how ConnecTeen inspires both youths and volunteers. We’re ready to hear from you!

What People Are Saying About Us

All have been edited for confidentiality.


“Meera” reached out to Distress Centre’s ConnecTeen text line before heading to school in the morning. She had been up all night with thoughts of suicide after a breakup that had happened a few weeks ago. She had a plan and the means to attempt suicide.

After speaking with the ConnecTeen responder, Meera agreed to put the means away so it wouldn’t be so accessible and worked with the responder to develop a safety plan, including a follow-up call from someone at ConnecTeen for later that day when she got out of school. Meera said she felt much better after talking to someone and was looking forward to the follow-up call.

When I first started volunteering at Distress Centre as a ConnecTeen volunteer, I set out with the goal to use my positive nature to help callers find solutions or see the bright side in their situations. On one of my first shifts, I picked up the phone to a crying and distressed individual, who we can call Taylor. Taylor was in middle school at the time, was struggling with isolation and suicidal thoughts, and had learned to find peace in self-harm. While holding back tears, Taylor said, “I see no way of escaping the problems that surround me 24/7.”

I remember my heart sinking when I heard Taylor say those words. As much as volunteers don’t like to admit this, sometimes there are situations where we can’t instantly see a way out for the people we talk to at Distress Centre. I continued to ask questions and tried to decipher Taylor’s story. This not only allowed me to better understand him but also allowed Taylor to unravel the built-up emotions he was feeling in that moment.

Experiences with loneliness and nights spent crying were shared.

During this time, Taylor loosely hinted at his love for music and songwriting. I asked if I could hear some of the songs he had written. After listening to some of Taylor’s creative lyrics, I was blown away by the amount of talent he had! Taylor and I were able to bond over music, and we discussed how impactful it has been in both of our lives.

Our call went on for over an hour, discussing Taylor’s future as a musician. Through our conversation, Taylor realized that even though songwriting did not solve any problems, it was a great way to manage and process the struggles he was facing in life. He found songwriting to be a healthier and more effective outlet of expression than engaging with self-harm regularly. Near the end of the call, Taylor said that moving forward, he would invest more energy into creating music. He even promised me that one day he would put out an album, giving me the opportunity to listen to it.

Making a long-term promise with someone you have never met and knowing that you have helped them find something to fight for in life is a feeling I cannot compare to anything else. I hope to one day hear his finished album. My biggest takeaway from this call with Taylor was that there are not always solutions to our problems. Instead, the challenges and hurdles we face make our lives “perfect” because they force us to look for motivation every day. For Taylor, this was realizing that his music deserves to be shared with the world. It was my privilege that day to help Taylor discover this.

Helping Others Through Chat

See how our Chat program is helping youths.

All have been edited for confidentiality.


A young female chatter said that she broke up with her boyfriend and that she still missed him and wanted to get back together. She said that her ex-boyfriend was always busy and that he didn’t have time for her, which was the reason why she broke up with him.

The volunteer validated and empathized with the chatter’s feelings. The chatter said that she was not having thoughts of suicide. Then the chatter asked what she should do, and the volunteer asked questions to encourage her to make a decision herself.

In the end, the chatter said that she would talk to her ex-boyfriend about the situation and see how it went, and if it didn’t go well, she would try to move on. The volunteer commended the chatter for making a decision.

A chatter contacted ConnecTeen to discuss their recent anxiety diagnosis. The chatter stated that their main concern was feeling like they couldn’t open up to their friends and family. The volunteer empathized with the chatter’s feelings of loneliness and validated their feelings of wanting to have someone to talk to.

The chatter also stated that they sometimes had thoughts of suicide, but they had no intention, plan, or time frame. They also disclosed feelings of loneliness and frustration. The volunteer worked with the chatter to generate options on how to approach friends and family.

When the chatter stated that they didn’t think these plans would work since they couldn’t open up with friends and family, the volunteer provided the chatter with free counselling resources. The chatter was open to using counselling services because they didn’t think their friends and family had time to be the emotional support they needed. The chatter stated that they felt helped at the end of the chat.

A chatter contacted ConnecTeen to say they were having thoughts about death and that they felt like they were going to die soon. They stated that they did not feel suicidal after being asked by the volunteer. The chatter was feeling depressed and anxious, and mentioned that their mom was battling brain cancer, which prompted a lot of negative thoughts and fear.

The chatter was disturbed by the fact that they were not feeling suicidal. The volunteer told the chatter that everyone copes with stress differently and that it was okay that they were not reacting in a way they expected. The volunteer also asked about the support the chatter had. The chatter said that they had been going to see a psychologist, and that was helping. The chatter was grateful for someone to speak with confidentially.

A chatter reported feeling suicidal and had a plan, although they would not disclose what it was. The volunteer explored the risk and was assured the chatter would not harm themselves.

The chatter indicated they were having issues with their girlfriend and unemployment, and were feeling overwhelmed. The volunteer listened, explored the situation and validated the chatter’s feelings. The chatter mentioned being previously in a day treatment program as well as being on medication. The volunteer explored other supports and resources. The chatter considered looking into a day treatment program again for assistance and was also going to see his doctor to ask for help next week.

The chatter and volunteer created a safety plan for the chatter to use the next time he was having suicidal thoughts, including a plan to contact ConnecTeen. They discussed different coping strategies, which the chatter planned to employ that night and then chat back with ConnecTeen if necessary. The chatter thanked Distress Centre for the work they do.

A chatter stated she had a problem with cutting herself to cope with stress. The volunteer assessed suicide risk, and the chatter said she wasn’t feeling suicidal at the moment but often had thoughts with no intention to carry out a plan. The volunteer normalized her feelings of being stressed.

The chatter also said she is in government care and dealing with her mother threatening to leave her. The volunteer validated the chatter’s feelings and suggested she contact Access Mental Health for additional help for coping with her stressful situation.

A chatter stated he was not suicidal before initiating a conversation. The chatter said he was trying to decide between following what he wanted to do and what his parents wanted him to do.
The chatter explained he wanted to travel the world when he was done high school but that his parents expected him to go into pre-med.

The volunteer validated and normalized the chatter’s feelings around the difficult decision. The chatter then confessed that what made his decision so hard was that he was afraid his parents would not talk to him again. The volunteer encouraged the chatter to have an open conversation with his parents or think about alternative ways to approach them.

The chatter concluded he would think about what he wanted to do and would return to chat if he wanted to talk more.

Volunteer Testimonials

See what our volunteers are saying about their experience working with ConnecTeen and supporting youths in the community.

Feeling Better

“During every shift, I have the unique opportunity to listen to teens from across the city and support them in any way that I can. The most rewarding part of volunteering is simply when a caller or chatter tells me they feel so much better after our conversation.”

Giving Back

“I have always wanted to give back to my community but never knew how, ConnecTeen gave me that chance. Now I get to make a difference in the lives of others as well as constantly learn, improve and discover myself and my abilities. The time I have given is so little to ask for all of the joy, appreciation and satisfaction that I gained through my experience volunteering with the Distress Centre.”

Enriching Experiences

“Volunteering with ConnecTeen has definitely been a worthwhile and enriching experience and I believe it has been one of the best decisions I’ve made up to this day.”

Volunteer Spotlight: Tegan & Sara

Before Tegan & Sara became award-winning songwriters, they were people just like you who wanted to do more for the community and worked with ConnecTeen (known then as Teen Line) as volunteers.

Hear how ConnecTeen helped them navigate their own struggles and what it means to have support during uncertain times.

Get In Touch Today

Join us in spreading the word about how ConnecTeen inspires both youths and volunteers! We can’t wait to hear from you!

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