Free Hotline for Youngsters Has Helped Hundreds of Thousands With Everything From Homework to Sadness

Whether kids are simply having trouble with their homework or they’re suffering from something a little more serious, there is a team of adults who are ready to help at a moment’s notice.

The Kids Help Phone is a nationwide hotline service that offers free counseling, support, guidance, and response to Canadian youth. Teens and children who need help can either text, call, or instant message the hotline for immediate assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For almost 30 years, kids have been using the hotline service for advice on things like how to deal with a breakup; LGBTQ issues; coping with toxic friendships; failing grades; dealing with grief; feeling depressed; body image issues; and even child abuse.

Unless the young caller is in immediate danger of being harmed or harming someone else, the hotline can also be used anonymously. However, the adult responders have an online database at the ready with more than 30,000 resources on how to deal with various support issues.

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The organization only rolled out their texting services back in November following a successful pilot program that resulted in more than 13,000 text conversations between adult helpers and troubled youngsters, and they have already experienced impressive results.

86% of participants reported a meaningful reduction in stress after finishing a texting conversation with a Crisis Responder, while 87% of respondents reported feeling less alone, less distressed, less upset, more hopeful, more confident and more in-control.

Furthermore, 52% of respondents said that they felt confident that they could cope with their situations after a texting conversation. Almost 100% of respondents said they were satisfied with the service and were likely to recommend the texting service to a friend. On a more serious note, 7% of users said they would have gone to the emergency room if they had not used the service.

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“This service fills an important gap in mental health support for youth in Canada – in crisis, in between health care appointments, and for those who are dealing with significant mental health issues,” said Professor Wendy Craig, Head of Psychology at Queen’s University.

The hotline has been hailed as one of the world’s best support systems for troubled youngsters – and based on its continuing success in 2019, mental health advocates are hoping it will inspire similar services outside of Canada in the near future.

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