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How Kids Help Phone is working to improve access to its services for young people

Mental health

A new fundraising campaign launched by Kids Help Phone has a goal of expanding access to e-mental health services for all young people across Canada.

The campaign, called Feel Out Loud, has a goal of raising $300 million.

The money will be used to increase access to mental health services, close the mental health equity gap for youth and transform the country's e-mental health landscape.

"E-mental health services are services that young people can connect with when they are not going physically to a location," said Alisa Simon, the executive vice president of E-Mental Health Transformation.

"So at Kids Help Phone we provide phone counselling, chat, we provide texting support, peer to peer communities, and you can be anywhere in Canada and connect in for those supports."

Simon said before the pandemic Kids Help Phone was supporting young people around 1.9 million times a year and now the organization is supporting them over four million times a year.

"And we know that the need is even greater, so how do we expand so that young people can reach out and quickly get support? We also know that there's a mental health gap for young people from equity deserving population, and how do we make sure that Indigenous, Black, LGBTQ2S+ young people are able to get the support that they need?

"Then there's innovation. How do we create new service pathways, new kinds of supports so that regardless of where young people are, they're never alone?"

Simon said as part of working to improve services, Kids Help Phone is continually talking with Indigenous and northern communities to ensure they are able to access all the same services as everyone else in the country.

"Always thinking about that connectivity issue right? How do we ensure that we are able to provide supports (to young people) that have low bandwidth for example? So if your internet coverage isn't strong, can you still get in? If you don't have internet, are you able to text? So constantly thinking through the ways we can provide diverse types of services that allow every person to at least have some way in for support."

To kickoff the campaign, both Bell Canada and BMO Financial Group donated $15 million each.

"Yes we are raising money, but this is a movement where we want everyone talking about how do we ensure that our young people are going to grow up in a world where they are able to thrive," said Simon.

For people who are looking for support or wanting to donate, more information can be found online.

Bell Canada is the parent company of CTV News. Top Stories

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