The anonymous online conversation began after the student revealed that he planned to kill himself.
"What should I do?" the sophomore asked a counselor at his Midwest college. "I figure you will probably tell me that killing myself is not a good idea, and I know that. But it does seem like a good option at the moment."
The counselor hoped to persuade him to come in to see her, but first she had to build trust. They continued the discussion on the website, a tool used by the school to reach troubled students.
"It sounds as though you are very stressed and sometimes just having a safe 'ear to bend' is helpful?," she wrote back.