Canadians supporting young people's well-being: More than $3 million (and counting) raised for Kids Help Phone through the Walk so Kids Can Talk presented by BMO

10,000+ Canadians participated in annual fundraising event; donations accepted until May 31, 2014

TORONTO, May 7, 2014 /CNW/ - In more than 25 communities across the country, Canadians showed their support for young people's mental health and well-being on Sunday, May 4 through their participation in the Walk so Kids Can Talk presented by BMO. Benefiting Kids Help Phone, the five-kilometre annual event brought together more than 10,000 kids, adults, families, schools, community organizations, and companies who together raised more than $3 million – and counting, as fundraising will continue until May 31.

"More than 500 young people reach out to Kids Help Phone each day to find the help and hope they need, in the ways they most want to receive support," said Sharon Wood, President and CEO, Kids Help Phone. "We're so grateful to Walk participants, donors and sponsors for their support, which ensures that children and youth have a place to be heard 24/7 and can receive confidential, anonymous and non-judgmental support from professional counsellors for any problem, big or small."

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Kids Help Phone and the start of its telephone counselling service – a service that has grown and evolved to meet kids where they're at, which today includes web-based options like Ask Us Online (web posts), Live Chat (online, real-time chats), and Resources Around Me, an online, map-based tool youth can use to search for and locate trusted resources in their area. As a charitable organization, Kids Help Phone relies on community and corporate support for the majority of its funding, making events like the Walk absolutely critical.

"We're proud to have participated in this year's Walk so Kids Can Talk - not only as the presenting sponsor but as walkers - with so many others across the country," said Connie Stefankiewicz, Head, North American Channel Strategy and Solutions, BMO Financial Group. "Our partnership with Kids Help Phone began 25 years ago when they started and we are thrilled to still be supporting them today."

In addition to presenting sponsor BMO, the Walk is supported by national sponsors AIR MILES – a LoyaltyOne program, Bluenotes, Nestlé Canada, and Parmalat Canada; community engagement partners Bell Canada and Bell Aliant; and media partner Bell Media.

Donations for the Walk can be made online at walksokidscantalk.ca.

About Kids Help Phone
Kids Help Phone is a Canadian and world leader, known for its expertise in providing vital, innovative counselling services to children and youth in communities across Canada. Since 1989 it has offered children, teens and young adults a critical lifeline of hope and support, through its free, anonymous and confidential service. Kids Help Phone's professional counsellors support the mental health and well-being of young people ages five to 20, in urban, rural, and remote communities, by providing one-on-one counselling, information and resources online and by phone, in English and French. Kids Help Phone's internationally recognized, award-winning websites offer online counselling forums and engaging, therapeutic games, tools and information to encourage resilience and self-care. A community-based national charity, Kids Help Phone relies on community and corporate support for the majority of its funding. We're there for the 6.5 million young people in Canada*, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in English and in French.

*Source: Statistics Canada (2012)

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SOURCE Kids Help Phone

For further information: Or to set up an interview with a Kids Help Phone representative, contact: Elizabeth-Alice Worth, Toronto, (416) 581-8955, media@kidshelpphone.ca