Kids Help Phone and Bell Let’s Talk ramp up support for youth mental health

Montréal, Thursday, June 25, 2020

Bell Let’s Talk and Kids Help Phone today announced a national $1 million investment to enhance ongoing crisis support for young people coping with mental health challenges during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

As the need for support has continued to grow during the crisis, Kids Help Phone has continued to ramp up its crisis responder and professional counselling capacity, enhanced its texting platform and created a range of self-directed online resources. With a 58% overall increase in demand during COVID-19 and text interactions up 62%, Kids Help Phone expects to make 3 million connections with young people this year, compared to 1.9 million in 2019.

“This Bell Let’s Talk funding will support Kids Help Phone in delivering its expanded frontline responses for youth in crisis now and into the future,” said Mary Deacon, Chair of Bell Let’s Talk. “As a founding partner of Kids Help Phone more than 30 years ago, we’re proud to work with this great organization to ensure young people have access to the mental health supports they need, especially in the face of the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 situation.”

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the volume of young people reaching out continues to soar with concerns around isolation, grief, discrimination, abuse and self harm. Times are tough and the issues with young people are heavier and more complex than ever,” said Katherine Hay, President and CEO of Kids Help Phone. “We’re grateful to Bell Let’s Talk for their commitment to mental health and helping millions of young people across this country to access support 24/7 – a positive impact that will ripple through communities for years to come.”

Bell announced a $5 million increase in Bell Let’s Talk funding in response to COVID-19 with support for a range of organizations delivering urgent mental health support on the front lines of Canadian communities, including Kids Help Phone, Canadian Mental Health Association, Canadian Red Cross, Revivre and Strongest Families Institute.

Bell Let’s Talk
The largest-ever corporate commitment to mental health in Canada, Bell Let’s Talk has partnered with more than 1,000 organizations providing mental health services throughout Canada, including hospitals, universities, local community service providers and other care and research organizations. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

Kids Help Phone
Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only 24/7 e-mental health service offering free, confidential support in English and French to young people. As the country’s virtual care expert, we give millions of youth a safe, trusted space to talk over phone and online chat or through text message in any moment of crisis or need. Through our digital transformation, we envision a future where every person in Canada is able to get the support they need, when they need it most, and with our expansion to an adult texting service, all people in Canada are never alone. Kids Help Phone is fueled by courageous donors, partners, volunteers, government and communities from coast to coast to coast. Learn more at KidsHelpPhone.ca or @KidsHelpPhone.

Media inquiries:

Bell
Jacqueline Michelis
613-785-1427
jacqueline.michelis@bell.ca
@Bell_LetsTalk
@Bell_News

Kids Help Phone
Lindsey Coulter
647-390-4841
lindsey.coulter@kidshelpphone.ca