"He's depressed and suicidal and I'm worried about him."

This April, Kids Help Phone is talking about kids helping kids

TORONTO, April 10, 2012 /CNW/ - "i have a friend, a really nice, sweet, kind, funny guy. but inside, he's hurt. he's depressed and suicidal and i'm worried. he's been through so much in his life. he's come to me probably about three or four times in the year since i met him telling me he's going to self-harm or try suicide. once i actually saved his life, just talking to him. when he gets like this, i get scared of what he'll do. i try to talk to him, and for the most part, i think i help."

- actual post from kidshelpphone.ca

"We hear from a lot of kids who want to know, 'how do I help a friend?'," says Jason Carey, Counselling Manager at Kids Help Phone. "A lot of them will say they want to help, but don't know how."

About 6% of the calls and online posts Kids Help Phone receives are from kids who want to help other kids. They could be friends, siblings, classmates, or even other kids they've connected with online through social media.

Whoever they're worried about, these young people are looking for support and guidance in helping a friend.

When they turn to Kids Help Phone's professional counsellors, they can trust they'll get the help and hope they need to, in turn, offer help and hope to their friends. Even our website content gives kids tips on how to help their friends.

Why we want to talk about this

  • About 6% of calls and online posts Kids Help Phone receives are from kids who want to help other kids. This translates into hundreds of additional indirect contacts that Kids Help Phone makes with youth in Canada.
  • In 2010, an online mental health survey conducted by Kids Help Phone found that only 50% of respondents would consider reaching out if they were suffering. Of the 50% that said they would reach out:
    • 36% said they would talk about their mental health concerns to a friend.
    • 26% to a parent
    • 18% to Kids Help Phone

From that same survey, the Top 3 conditions in place for reaching out are:

1. Having the reassurance that all you say stays secret;

2. Knowing that you wouldn't be judged;

3. Knowing that you could actually get the help needed to feel better.

When respondents offered, in their own words, advice they would give to a friend who was worried about his or her mental health, the large majority were highly supportive, positive, and optimistic, with the largest driving theme being that it's important to get help:

  • Talk to someone about it, get some help (59%);
  • I'll be here/ I'll support you (15%);
  • Don't give up / you'll get better / you can get through this (10%).

  • National Volunteer Week runs from April 15-21. Aside from Kids Help Phone supporting "kids helping kids," every day volunteers across the country work to ensure that Kids Help Phone has the funds it needs to respond to every call and online post that comes in, and to work toward ensuring every child in Canada knows they have 24/7 access to help and hope.
  • The Walk so Kids Can Talk is coming up on Sunday, May 6, and it's another way young people can help their peers. As the Walk approaches, young people across the country begin fundraising and volunteering for Canada's largest walk for child and youth mental health and well-being.
  • Social support makes it easier to cope with life's stressors and can come from a variety of sources, including family, friends and neighbours. Support is linked to lower rates of depression, greater self-esteem, and more positive attitudes towards school.

What our experts are saying

"Kids often confide in each other before anyone else," says Jason Carey. "They feel a responsibility to their friends. It's a good reminder that we can't do everything on our own. These kids are sometimes 12, 13 years old. They can't be expected to know what to do to help their friends, but they know to come to Kids Help Phone for support."

About Kids Help Phone

Kids Help Phone is Canada's leading online and phone counselling service for youth. It's free, it's anonymous and confidential, and it's available any time of the day or night, 365 days a year in English and in French.  Professional counsellors support the mental health and well-being of young people, ages five to 20, by providing one-on-one counselling, information and referral.  As a community-based national charity, Kids Help Phone receives no core government funding and relies on community and corporate support to fund its essential and vital service.

SOURCE: Kids Help Foundation

For further information:

To set up an interview about the Walk so Kids Can Talk or kids helping kids, please contact: 


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Kids Help Foundation

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