Kids Help Phone: Counselling Youth One Session at a Time
When asked how their day was, it’s not uncommon for youth to give a distracted reply of “fine” or the occasional “good” as they bury their nose into their smartphone. Conversation can be even more difficult when something is clearly bothering them but they don’t seem to be eager to chat. It’s at these times that the truism “it’s easier to talk to a stranger than to a friend” comes to mind. When young people are ready to speak about the life challenges they’re facing, many are hard-pressed to find a friend, family member or mentor who is not just interested but also available in hearing them out.
And for this person to be non-judgemental, helpful and have the insight to point them towards useful resources is even more challenging.
Kids Help Phone is the only Canada-wide professional counselling service that provides free, bilingual support for young people 24/7 by phone or Live Chat. Initially, Kids Help Phone offered a single-platform solution that allowed young people to speak anonymously about their problems over the phone. Today, it’s adopting a multi-channel approach, expanding to digital platforms and apps, allowing youth to connect using any of the devices that they’re already using every day.
Kids Help Phone exemplifies the ability to adapt to the role technology plays in the lives of today’s youth – and these changes are generating a positive impact. “Since 2013 there has been a 29% increase in counselling sessions from young people struggling with mental and emotional health concerns, a 22% increase in counselling sessions from young people experiencing suicidal thoughts; a 29% increase in demand for Live Chat counselling and a 16% increase in callers aged 17-20+ who, in general, deal with a far more complex range of issues.”1 These statistics show that Kids Help Phone is a sought-after service, capable of reaching thousands of youth through their preferred channels. With the understanding that every problem is unique, the charity is committed to creating tailored initiatives to fill each need.
As the demand for its services increase, Kids Help Phone continues to push boundaries in its quality of care and accessibility. “Kids Help Phone has recently renewed its strategic mission and vision with a 5-year goal to be the most nimble, accessible, effective access point for young people to the support they need. “Through exercising our values including collaboration and innovation, and in responding to young people in the channels and platforms of their choice, it is incumbent upon the service to continually harness emerging technology to support our vision that every young person in Canada will access the support they need in the way they need it most,” says Ted Kaiser, Vice President of Technology and Innovation at Kids Help Phone.
With initiatives created to adapt to the needs of youth today, Kids Help Phone proves itself to be a forward-thinking organization capable of flexibility and change. If you want to create solutions to help Kids Help Phone use data-driven solutions, engage youth, develop interactive elements and measure impact, register for Gift The Code 2017 today!
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1 Statistics from Kids Help Phone website: https://kidshelpphone.ca/our-impact