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Transforming access to e-mental health solutions for youth; Peer-to-Peer Community at Kids Help Phone launches

TORONTO, June 30, 2021 /CNW/ – Kids Help Phone hears from young people every day who often feel they are the only ones going through their issue. They often feel alone in their concerns – big or small. A new, virtual, moderated and supported community created by youth, for youth is finally here. The Peer-to-Peer Community at Kids Help Phone is a bilingual, online, mental health support forum available across Canada. In the “community”, youth can anonymously share their personal experiences, offer inspiration and ask questions to connect, comfort and cheer each other on.

Kids Help Phone collaborated with hundreds of young people 16 – 26 years of age across Canada to co-create this platform. With input every step of the way, young people can now navigate support through authentic, real-life experiences and voices in the “community” with their own peers.

“Using the peer-to-peer community made me realize that we’re all in this together and never alone. It’s good to hear other people with similar experiences talking about them, and I can see how much my own struggles are real and understandable.” — Young person using the Peer-to-Peer Community at Kids Help Phone.

The pilot and launch of the Peer-to-Peer Community at Kids Help Phone was made possible thanks to generous support from Kids Help Phone’s Innovation Catalyst, Canada Health Infoway (Infoway).

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for a wider range of e-mental health supports for Canadians, and especially for young people, so we are very proud to support this vital initiative,” said Michael Green, President and CEO, Infoway. “This community platform will also complement other innovative services we have supported and catalyzed such as Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help Phone.” 

Kids Help Phone speaks to young people in every province and territory. As the only 24/7 bilingual and national e-mental health service in Canada, Kids Help Phone understands first-hand that for many young people, seeking mental health support is not always easy to do. The Peer-to-Peer Community at Kids Help Phone is another option for young people to find support at their own pace, among those who may know what they are going through.

“We speak with young people every single day and intimately understand the challenges and experiences they face. Our job is to continue to innovate meeting young people where they are, how they need, and offering judgement-free support,” said Katherine Hay, President & CEO, Kids Help Phone. “The Peer-to-Peer Community at Kids Help Phone directly connects young people with young people in a safe space to discuss whatever is on their minds. You can interact on topics like school, racism, friends, religion, trauma, discrimination, hope and more. If it’s important to you, it’s likely important to other youth in this country.”

Safety is a number one priority at Kids Help Phone. The Peer-to-Peer Community at Kids Help Phone is moderated by clinical staff who review all posts before going live to ensure a safe and non-judgmental environment. Community guidelines are provided to participants with a ZERO tolerance policy for abuse or harassment on the platform.

In 2020, Kids Help Phone provided e-mental health support through 4.6 million connections with youth from coast to coast to coast via phone, text, live chat and self-directed resources. Compared to the 1.9 million connections in 2019, this increase highlights the impact of COVID-19 and the importance of maximizing access to supports through continuous innovation to meet the needs of young people wherever they are on their mental health journey.

Innovations at Kids Help Phone are made possible by generous supporters and investors who are committed to e-mental health solutions. Thank you to Canada Health Infoway, for championing this transformative development for the e-mental health ecosystem of services and supports.

With thanks to our donors who are supporting the national launch of this virtual community including The Co-operators, Graham Burton Foundation, Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia, United Way Newfoundland, Foundation Jacques & Michel Auger.

For more information, or to visit the Peer-to-Peer Community at Kids Help Phone, visit, dev.kidshelpphone.ca.

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Thanks to our growing community, Kids Help Phone offers free, 24/7 e-mental health services to young people in Canada. Your generosity helps ensure that someone is always there when support is needed for any issue, big or small.

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