Kids Help Phone: Meeting the needs of Québec youth

Presentation of Kids Help Phone's Live Chat service and new mobile app

MONTRÉAL, Nov. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - This morning, during national Bullying Awareness Week, Kids Help Phone unveiled its new mobile app, Always there, along with its innovative Live Chat counselling service. With bullying increasingly prevalent on the Web and in social media, not to mention the many other challenges young people face today, these two new services clearly reflect Kids Help Phone's ongoing support of young people's mental health and well-being.

"All young people need trusted adults in their lives to talk to, and Kids Help Phone has always provided that supportive ear. But we've also come to understand that the way in which we listen to them needs to be increasingly versatile," says Kids Help Phone President and CEO Sharon Wood. "Our new Always there app, for example, lets youth access key information as well as our core counselling services in an easy, user-friendly and confidential manner. The app also has an exclusive feature, Feelings Log, which allows them to also keep a daily log of their emotions, so they can notice patterns and changes over time."

"Statistics clearly show that making effective use of technological innovations is a critical and important way to support the young people who need us," adds Alain Johnson, Clinical Director with Kids Help Phone. "For example, our recently launched Live Chat counselling service is already proving extremely popular among young Quebecers; over the last few months, 14% of all counselling requests received from young people in Québec were for the chat service."

Proof positive
Kids Help Phone also released the results of its recent Proof Positive service evaluation at the event. This rigorous and comprehensive research evaluated both the organization's phone and Live Chat pilot counselling services, and showed that Kids Help Phone is making a significant impact on young people's mental health and well-being. Among the results: 87% of callers in the phone evaluation experienced a reduction in their level of distress (an average drop of 2.5 points on a 7-point scale) after speaking with a Kids Help Phone counsellor, while 75% of those who used Live Chat also experienced a significant reduction in this area (an average decrease of 1.5 points on a 7-point scale). Another finding was that many young people keep coming back to Kids Help Phone: about half of the young people contacting the organization through chat or by phone had done so between 2 and 10 times previously, an indicator that they trusted the service and found it helpful. For more information or to read the full research report, please visit kidshelpphone.ca/proofpositive.

"Young people deal with some difficult issues, and we are very happy to have done this research to show our service is making a significant difference for them," adds Ms. Wood. "With more and more young people coming to Kids Help Phone all the time, we need the support of generous donors now more than ever before. We are therefore extremely grateful for the support we have received from our donors, which in particular allows us to stay on the leading-edge of technology to meet young people's evolving needs."

Significant support
At the event, Kids Help Phone was presented with two major gifts. Sophie Desmarais announced a multi-year donation of $500,000, a gift that will be allocated to enhancing Kids Help Phone's service by increasing the hours of Live Chat counsellors' availability. In addition, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation announced a gift of $879,000, which is also being used to support Live Chat.

About Kids Help Phone/Jeunesse, J'écoute (kidshelpphone.ca)
Kids Help Phone/Jeunesse, J'écoute is a Canadian and world leader, known for its expertise in providing vital, innovative counselling services to children and youth. Since 1989 we have offered children, teens and young adults in Canada a critical lifeline of hope and support, through our free, anonymous and confidential service. Our 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 by phone and online. Our internationally recognized, award-winning websites are considered a model of child-focused interactive design, and offer online counseling forums and engaging, therapeutic games, tools and information to encourage resilience and self-care. A community-based national charity, Kids Help Phone receives no guaranteed ongoing financial support from government or any large funder and relies on community and corporate support to keep our essential service available. 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.


Image with caption: "From left to right: Sharon Wood, President and CEO, Kids Help Phone; Étienne Boulay, former Montreal Alouettes player and Alain Johnson, Clinical Director, Kids Help Phone, are surrounded by Students from the Armand-Corbeil school. (CNW Group/Kids Help Phone)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131120_C9101_PHOTO_EN_33619.jpg

SOURCE: Kids Help Phone

For further information:

Debbie Jussome
Manager, marketing & communications
Jeunesse, J'écoute
514 948-8353 - Cellphone : 514 217-4262
debbie.jussome@jeunessejecoute.ca

Charles Durivage / Amély Tremblay
Morin Relations Publiques
514 286-8688, poste 227 / 226
Cellphone : 514 894-4186 / 514 744-8522
charlesd@morinrp.com amely@morinrp.com


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