Have you heard of this wonderful organization, Kids Help Phone? Until I had spoke with Sherrie Cameron – Manager, Community Fundraising & Corporate Development at Kids Help Phone Edmonton Office, I did not know this service existed. Instead of me telling you about what they do Sherrie has offered to talk to you about their good work.
Kids Help Phone is a completely confidential professional counseling service helping kids in your community and across the country 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Vulnerable kids from the ages of 5 to 20 reach out to Kids Help Phone for all kinds of reasons, including sexual, physical and emotional abuse, depression and thoughts of suicide, eating disorders, self-harm and bullying. Every day, Kids Help Phone counselors answer calls, online questions and most recently live chat requests from all across Canada. No matter what the problem or concern our counselors are there to provide immediate and caring support, information and referrals to the kids who reach out to us.
In early May, The Walk so Kids Can Talk event took place in 50 communities across the country, raising $2.5 million! Great going Canada!
Walk so Kids Can Talk is Canada’s largest fundraising campaign to improve the mental well-being of the young people in Canada. It is organized on behalf of the 6.5 million young people in Canada to ensure they can continue finding immediate, non-judgemental, anonymous and professional support, and expert-vetted information on a wide range of issues that are affecting the quality of their life. 100% of the funds raised by Walk participants help young people who are dealing with mental or emotional distress cope with these overwhelming emotions by ensuring they will continue to have access to Kids Help Phone’s professional counsellors 24 hours a day. All funds raised by the Walk go to support Kids Help Phone’s essential service.
Today’s reality is that the demand for our service is greater than our ability to meet it. In 2011, calls to Kids Help Phone have increased significantly, and online posts have seen an upsurge; sadly children, teens and young adults are being placed on hold and waiting longer to receive the help they seek and our online professional counselling site (Ask Us Online) closes during some days of the months to kids posting their issues.
Kids Help Phone must raise 100% of the necessary funds to cover the costs of delivering day and night professional youth counselling service, 365 days a year.
New launch of real time live chat counselling pilot:
Live Chat counselling lets young people participate in real-time Instant Messaging-type exchanges, with a Kids Help Phone professional counsellor, through either a smartphone or computer. Over the past 3 years, Kids Help Phone received a growing number of requests for immediate, live online counselling from young people. Kids are really excited about the service because it’s easier in many instances for kids to contact Kids Help Phone online rather than through the phone, users with limited privacy report feeling more secure chatting online rather than on the phone, users receive help in real-time during online chat as opposed to the wait for responses through Ask Us Online. Providing Live Chat counselling to youth across Canada will cost an estimated $7.5 million over the next 3 years so support is greatly needed.
As you can see there is a lot of support being provided to kids across our country who need help. Kids Help Phone has been visionary in its approach to finding ways to connect and provide the counselling necessary. I urge you to learn more about this great cause and next time when you think about a charity to give to…think Kids Help Phone.
Through your donation you may be helping to positively change the course of one child’s life.