Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only 24/7 national service offering bilingual (English and French) professional counseling, information and referrals, and volunteer-led, text-based support to young people.
In 1989, Kids Help Phone launched as the very first phone line in Canada for kids in need of support. Since then, our national service has expanded to offer free, 24/7, professional single-session counseling in English, French, and Arabic, volunteer-led support through Text in English and French, and access to Canada’s largest community-based resource database.
So far in 2020, their teams of professional counsellors and volunteer crisis responders have interacted with young people over 4 million times (and counting!) – compared to 1.9 million for all of 2019. Young people are reaching out to Kids Help Phone in record numbers. With incredible support, they can continue to be there for every single young person in their moments of crisis or need.
As the pandemic has progressed, their texting service has become increasingly embedded in the landscape of youth mental healthcare in Canada – recently surpassing 300,000 texting conversations since inception in 2018. This reflects the critical role this service plays to ensure every young person has somewhere to turn in their time of need. In 2020 alone, youth reached out to Kids Help Phone through text more than 168,000 times. During the pandemic, they expanded their texting service, and it is now available for all ages across Canada.
Kids Help Phone has a pioneering history, bringing new solutions to critical problems young people face. Created in 1989 to provide a way for youth to confidentially report abuse, a unique telephone counselling service was launched providing free, accessible support to any young person reaching out, anywhere in the country.
Almost immediately, young people let us know they needed more from the service than one focus and one channel to reach us.
Over the past 30 years, we’ve evolved our response and solutions, always concentrating on staying relevant to youth, recognizing the complexity of issues they face and ensuring counsellors are ready to address the continuum of emotional and mental health needs from crisis situations to the everyday concerns of growing up.
Within the last decade, Kids Help Phone has tested, launched and evaluated new service offerings validating the quality of our service and the impact we have on young lives, building expert digital resources and youth outreach campaigns and securing a growing base of funders to support young people in Canada.
Fast forward to 2019, and we know that Kids Help Phone’s service has become more essential than ever before, along with our goal to transform to meet the needs of young people in Canada. For 30 years, Kids Help Phone has shown up for youth in distress. Watch the new video here.
As part of our strategic objective of maximizing access, we’re committed now, more than ever, to ensuring every young person in Canada has equitable access to Kids Help Phone’s services. Finding Hope: Kids Help Phone’s Action Plan for Supporting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Young People, a plan led by our Indigenous Advisory Council, is one way we’ll achieve our goal of reaching 3.5 million youth engagements by 2021.