As someone whose family has been affected by mental illness, I know personally the importance of making support accessible and so this news makes me very happy.
Kids help phone recently launched a texting service across Canada, which means that youth can get mental health assistance simply by sending a text, something that most do everyday anyway! This service makes accessing support seem less intimidating and more private as phone calls can often be overheard and speaking to someone can seem overwhelming.
There was a pilot program that ran February-October which resulted in over 13,000 text conversations. The results showed that 86% of kids had reduced stress after their experience with the texting service and 87% had an improved mood. It also found that 81% of kids said that they’d recommend the service to a friend.
To access this service kids across Canada can text “TALK” to 686868 and they will be connected to a volunteer crisis responder in English. French is also available, kids text “TEXTO” to 686868.
This service is free of charge, and will not create any billing issues or increases. It’s available 24 hours a day! I think this will make a big difference for a lot of young persons, so feel free to share this and help spread the word!